- Betfair is popular for its revolutionary and unique concept of trading bets
- Winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the highest business acknowledgement in Britain
- Over 15 million bets placed each day
- Over 30 sports markets to choose from in football, horse racing, basketball, tennis etc.
- One of the lowest juice among bookies
The Betfair concept of placing and exchanging bets was pioneered by Betfair itself. The simplest explanation, one can say that Betfair is like eBay for sports betting. There are buyers and sellers (of odds), and Betfair is there only to take a commission of the winning bets. It’s a betting exchange where punters sort of challenge other punters to place bet on odds that they suggested themselves. Betfair just provides the “ground” for this concept with its web-site and doesn’t take part in the action of posting or appointing odds. This is probably one of the most interactive ways of sports betting you have ever seen. Also, Betfair offers a regular sports betting page for those that want to bet the traditional way with odds set up by the operator himself.
Background & License
The web-site was launched over a decade ago, and in 2003 the company received one of the highest official rewards for achievements in doing business, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Concept-wise, Betfair is the largest operator of its kind with over four million customers served by 1,800 employees.
Betfair is licensed by the Government of Gibraltar and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner under the Gambling Act 2005. It has a great reputation and it is one of the more fun web-sites to be part of where a betting community is cultivated with the help of Betfair’s forum. It is often said that Betfair has the lowest juice on the Internet. By being an exchange it is often praised how entertaining it can be to bet at Betfair.
Free Bet & Promotions
As a starting offer to get all new punters the needed kick start into a unique and very exciting experience, Betfair gives £20 as a free bet, plus £1,000 as cash back. What you will need to do is to place your first exchange bet within 7 days of registering, and to risk at least £20. If with your first bet you risk less than £20, then this promotion will cease to be valid. All bets that were unmatched, unsettled or voided will not be counted towards this promotion.
After your first bet you can get cash back up to £1,000 with each Points level you reach (points are awarded based on your activity of exchanging bets) in the next 30 days. So, if you place a qualifying bet, and that bet loses, Betfair will refund you £20, and if you place two qualifying bets at the same time, the first bet that settles will be your qualifying bet, and if you want to get your cash back up to £1,000 you will need to accrue enough Betfair points to reach one or more levels.
Betting Coverage & Odds
Betfair offers plenty of variety to make sure that punters are not bored with betting. The only thing that may be missing is the exotics, since the nature of a betting exchange can be a little tricky and because of that it is very difficult to offer certain generic promo offers and bonuses that you can find at other standard bookmakers. The odds displayed may be confusing at first, but you’ll get the hang of it easily. The odds are given in fractional or decimal format, and they are posted or suggested by the punters themselves. There are two kinds of odds for each selection, back and lay. If you accept odds then you “back” the outcome and assume the role of a punter. If you “lay” a selection, that means you are suggesting odds of your own and thus you assume the role of a bookmaker.
So, when you read that some top sports betting web-site offers a wide range of football, think of Betfair and its selection of sports markets, from the top football leagues like the Premier League, or Seria A, to obscure competitions like the football league of Bahrain or Jordan. There are over 50 football betting markets and specials like who will be the next manager of a certain football team, or will the star player stay in the club, etc.
The horse racing section, one of the most popular sections along with the football betting opportunities, covers all British and Irish race tracks, along with Australian ones. Betfair offers three types of race betting: exchange (where members can back or lay runners), fair price (members get the highest official on-course bookmaker fluctuation), and tote betting. With the new Betfair racing page you can view exchange, fair price and tote odds, all at the same time.
Live In-Play Betting
Live in-play betting at Betfair is an unrivalled experience because Betfair is able to offer its members the chance to cash out for a profit during a sporting event, like a football match, horse race or other event. This is due to the unique back and lay system with which punters don’t have to wait for the final outcome of the event. There is also a live video section with which punters can watch the sporting event that they placed a bet on as the action unfolds.
Deposit & Withdrawals
Betfair operates with a closed loop policy, which means that Betfair will always insist on withdrawal of funds with the same method used for depositing. With this policy both Betfair and its users are protected against fraud and money laundering activities. If you want or if you need to change the method, first you will have to level off any deposits made with the same method. Betfair accepts all the credit and debit cards that are used most commonly by people, like Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Delta, MasterCard, Maestro, Solo and Laser. The waiting period for the money withdrawn with credit/debit cards to arrive at your account can take 2-5 working days. This time period does not depend on Betfair, since Betfair processes your withdrawal almost immediately, but on the bank instead. However, the cheapest and quickest way for depositing and withdrawing would be with the e-wallets offered, including PayPal, Neteller, Skrill and ClickAndBuy, since they take up to a maximum of 24 hours to be processed and don’t impose fees. You can also deposit or withdraw via bank transfer or cheques. Currencies available at Betfair are UK Sterling, Euro, US Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Danish Krone, Norwegian Krone, Swedish Krona and Singapore Dollar.
Customer Service & Security
Customer service at Betfair is excellent, when we take into consideration that Betfair is not considered a bookmaker. The support representatives are there to ensure that everyone can wager freely and to answer any questions they might have. Betfair offers plenty of great guides for inexperienced punters, and a vast FAQ section that you should really read since it contains almost every question and answer that newcomers might have. If you don’t like reading, the customer support representatives are available 24/7 via online contact form, email, UK, Irish, Australian and international phone numbers or Tweeter.
The security of your personal information is a priority at Betfair. The measures taken to ensure the protection of its members include encryption of login information, using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology, internal and external security tests of Betfairs software, passwords checking against Betfair’s minimum password strength policies, authentication steps for sensitive changes to your account etc. We may conclude that Betfair is a safe place for betting.
The bottom line is that it takes time to learn and get used to Betfair’s concept of bet exchange, but only briefly. After several bets placed you will understand the basics of this completely different experience and you shouldn’t have problems in the future. The biggest feature of Betfair is that it organises tournament betting where the winner odds are almost always far better than those offered by standard bookmakers, while with the back/lay system you can lock in profits if the odds are moving in your favour. The downside may be the fact that Betfair is not very appropriate for sports betting beginners, however serious punters will enjoy the opportunity to act as a bookmaker for a change, therefore Betfair is highly recommended to serious sports betting enthusiasts.
- Odd Formats:
- Fractional, Decimal
- Bulgaria, Belgium, Greece, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Germany, France, USA and Turkey
- Unique concept for placing bets
- Classy and prestigious operator
- Web-site full of useful and well presented information
- Active betting forum for members
- Rookie punters may be confused
- No US customers supported
- Commission on net winnings
- How much time is needed for a bet to settle?
- Betfair aims to settle all of your bets within 30 minutes after the final result(s) for the event(s) have been confirmed. Until then the bet is still open until the results have been officially announced, which should take more than a couple of minutes. If your bets have not been settled after 30 minutes you can contact Betfair’s customer support.
- How am I able to deposit or withdraw?
- For each transaction that you want to make you will use the 'My Account' section of Betfair. That will be your main panel whenever you want to deposit or withdraw. If you want to make a transaction using a credit card, you will need to register a card with Betfair first in the ‘My Account’ section under 'My Card Details' tab. To withdraw funds just click on the 'Withdraw Funds from Betfair’s tab in the My Account section, and all available funds for withdrawing will be displayed. To deposit click ‘Deposit Funds into Betfair’.
- Where can I learn betting terms?
- Betting terms are important to know if you want to be a more insightful player. Knowing what each-way, accumulator or ante-post is can come in real handy when you are wanting to place bets. For that purpose we have created a betting glossary that you can use freely in your online betting adventures.
- What languages are supported?
- At the moment Betfair’s website supports nine different languages widely spoken throughout the world, including English (Australian, New Zealander, British and Irish English), Danish, German, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Swedish. The same languages are used for providing customer support too.
- How are bets placed?
- Although Betfair is a betting exchange bets can be placed as at any other standard bookmaker. Find an event that you want to bet on and click on the ‘Back’ or ‘Lay’ odds (Back odds are colored blue, while Lay odds are colored pink). Click on the odds that you want to back or to lay and the selection will appear in your bet slip. Once in the bet slip you can continue with your bet at the odds proposed or you can propose your own odds that people can back or lay.
- How safe are my personal details?
- Your safety at Betfair is a priority. Betfair maintains security via many standard measures, like encrypting login information with SSL technology, regular testing of the software, enforcing strong passwords policy, temporary account deactivation after several unsuccessful login attempts, and strict authentication if sensitive changes are made to your account.