Betfair is Britain’s most famous and successful betting exchange operator. Established in 1999 and online by 2000 they have grown at a remarkable rate. Recent years have seen them team up with Paddy Power to form Paddy Power Betfair PLC and they are a great alternative to the traditional methods of punting. Acting as a bookmaker is a dream for many gamblers and Betfair have made this possible. We are going to review how they have done this by taking a look at their Website, Odds, Commission, In-Play Platform, Customer Services, Payment Methods and more.
As would be expected of a betting exchange it looks somewhat different to that of a traditional sportsbook. That said, there are still distinct similarities.
To get to the exchange section of the website when visiting www.betfair.com simply click on the exchange button located to the left hand side of the top line of tabs. Once you have done that the predominant colour format will change to grey and you have entered the world of exchange betting.
Like most bookmakers all of the sports and extras that you can bet on are found in the left column of the three column web page. There are huge amounts of markets that also include Esports, financial market and politics as well as a wide array of sports.
In the centre column you will find any promotions available on the exchange followed by the next three upcoming British and Irish horse races. You will then find the sporting highlights of the day, the full days racing schedule and upcoming sporting highlights.
The right hand side column is dedicated to quick links to popular markets such as the English Premier League and Six Nations. There is no bet slip as such. When you click the odds of your selection this appears directly under the sporting event in question.
Unlike other bookmakers exchange prices are simply based on what other punters are willing to lay on a market. The good news it the liquidity at Betfair is good due to the massive client base. This means that if the price you require is realistic your bet will likely be matched. Odds are typically higher than those at traditional sportsbooks. An example of this is that Betfair proclaimed to have paid out on a better SP for every horse that the 2018 Cheltenham Festival
Betfair charge commission on net profit based on the following equation:
Commission = Net Winnings x 5% x (1 – Discount Rate).
The Discount rate is key and can significantly reduce commission charged. The rate is ascertained by using a points based system. A point is accrued every time for every 10p of commission on winnings as well as what would have been paid on net losses. The main milestones are below.
For the high end gamblers it is worth noting that there are inflated commission rates.
It is worth noting that when Betfair proclaim to have beaten other bookmakers in price this has taken the commission into consideration. One draw-back is that exchange competitors including Matchbook charge lower commission rates.
Whilst In-Play betting on the exchanges is huge the information provided is minimal. If we take tennis as an example you are simply provided with the current match score as well as aces, double faults and service breaks. This is far less than with other sportsbooks. You are also provided with head to head information if it is available. There is no graphic to use as a visual reference and on the whole it is relatively simplistic.
There are numerous ways to contact the Betfair Customer Services team. Firstly they have a 24/7 Live Chat function. Whilst this is a great feature are experiences have shown that the wait time to speak to an operator is sometimes extensive. You can also email [email protected] or call them on +44-203-059-888. They are contactable on social media platforms including twitter and facebook.
The wide range of payment methods is a real positive. As well as being able to pay via bank transfer the following are accepted: Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, Click and Buy, Neteller, Paypal, Skrill, paysafecard, Western Union, Giropay and Poli.
There is a serious amount to like about Betfair. Loads of markets, regularly the highest odds on the market, financial betting opportunities and the fact that you can act as a bookie are real positives. The commission they charge in comparison to others is slightly disappointing but they do have far higher liquidity levels thaN there competitors.
For more information on how to place a bet on Betfair as well as their promotions and welcome bonus please see our Betfair Free Bets article.