Betfair Sports Review – Top Online Sports Betting Facts of a Leading Betting Exchange

An online sportsbook’s primary responsibility is to create a market where punters can have the opportunity to bet on a wide variety of sports events and their allied tournaments. However, the odds of a match and its various in-play events in a fixed-odds sportsbook are determined by the bookmaker. Hence, these fixed odds can somewhat dilute the experience for professional bettors who wish to wager their money against other established punters from around the globe.

Betfair understands the dilemma of the punters in this regard, which is why the company launched its services as a dedicated betting exchange way back in 2000. Ever since its launch, Betfair has grown from strength to strength and is currently the largest online betting exchange in the world. Apparently, due to the demands of the market, Betfair also provides a fixed-odds sportsbook in its product portfolio, which makes it an excellent option for punters that seek both fixed and variable odds betting. To get more information about the sportsbook and the exchange options, read through our complete Betfair review. However, we would like to inform you that the exchange does not provide its services to bettors from India, and as such, is not accessible to Indian punters.

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Authenticity of Betfair - Regulations & Licenses

Betfair is another UK-based betting operator, which is authorised by the UK’s Gambling Commission to function as a sportsbook and a betting exchange. While the company’s official headquarters is situated in London, all international operations come under the jurisdiction of the Malta Gaming Authority (Lisense №: MGA/CRP/131/2006-05). Indian punters and bettors from countries outside the UK are required to maintain an account at Betfair International Plc, which comes under the regulatory jurisdiction of the European Union and its various gaming laws. All sports betting markets, including cricket betting, is regulated according to the regulations outlined by the Maltese Gaming Authority in accordance with the laws enforced by the European Union.

Betfair has recently merged with Paddy Power and is now known as Paddy Power Betfair, a company that is listed on the London Stock Exchange with operating revenue of close to £2 billion. Betfair has consistently reported profits in its balance sheet, which means that the bookmaker is a reliable company that can guarantee the security of its clients’ betting capital. The company is often audited by independent agencies, which keeps the company honest and financially transparent.

Betfair Profile
Betfair
  • Founded: 2000
  • Location: London
  • Network: Over 40 countries
  • Sponsor of: Juventus, FC Barcelona, Arsenal
  • Lisense №: MGA/CRP/131/2006-05
  • MGA
    UKGC
  • Contact:
    • E-mail
    • Phone
    • Live Chat

Opening a Betfair Account & Placing a Bet

Punters must open an account to place a wager at Betfair. You can sign up for an account by providing your personal information, email address, and a phone number. Once you have created an account, you are taken directly to the platform, where you can access your account dashboard to make a deposit. All account holders can place a bet as soon as they deposit funds into their account, but for withdrawing money, users must verify their identity.

It is easy to place a bet at the bookmaker, as the interfaces are self-explanatory. You can choose any sports category from the options provided by the company, which allows you to select any pre-match or in-play markets available in the interface. Once you select a match or a tournament, you will be provided with its various odds and allied markets, along with the option to place a wager through the bet slip.

Clicking on a particular event launches the bet slip, where punters can enter their stake amount and place a bet. The bet slip is also where you can learn more about the payouts offered, the general terms of a wager, and all other betting-related information. Punters can place multiple bets and enter as many stakes as they prefer, subject to the equity available in the account and the maximum betting amount for that particular market. The bet slip also provides an opportunity to delete a bet (if not placed) or close a bet prematurely, if the Cash Out feature is enabled for that particular market.

Betfair Account Payments - Deposits & Withdrawals

The primary funding methods are divided between popular options such as credit/debit cards, bank wire transfers, e-wallets, and other payment solutions such as Western Union. E-wallets such as Skrill, PayPal and NETELLER are the most popular funding methods for Betfair, closely followed by credit/debit cards.

Betfair accepts payments in USD, GBP and EUR. All transactions, including card transfers, are completed within a few seconds, but funding methods such as bank wires and Western Union can take a few days. For withdrawals, customers must go through an account verification procedure, which requires them to verify their identity by submitting an identifying document and proof of address. Once the verification is complete, Betfair will process the withdrawal request.

Some users may face difficulties during the verification process, as Betfair is very severe about its under-age gambling policies and responsible gambling initiatives. There is also the issue of bonuses, as punters will have to complete the minimum wagering requirements to be eligible for a withdrawal. Therefore, as a Betfair customer, you must ensure that you satisfy all terms and conditions before sending a withdrawal request.

Betfair Bonus and Regular Promotions

Betfair has a few promotional offers for its new customers, which include a free $30 betting credit for every $30 wagered and lost, along with a risk-free $5 in trading credits, both for its exchange market. However, these bonuses are only offered for a select few customers that use a card or PayPal for funding their account. There are also several wagering requirements (10x in some cases), and punters are expected to meet these wagering requirements before initiating a withdrawal request. The bookmaker may also launch some seasonal promotions for both new and existing customers, but the general bonus offering is quite low. We would also not recommend signing up for any bonus offers, as they will create unnecessary issues when it comes to withdrawing money.

Betfair Exchange Betting

Nowadays, punters are more inclined towards avoiding a conflict of interest with their bookmaker, which is where terms such as value bets and betting exchanges are increasingly used in the markets. A value bet is an essential aspect in the world of sports betting, where punters must wager on the best odds for a particular outcome. Fixed-odds betting offered by regular sportsbooks may not provide the correct value for specific events, which may prevent bettors from enjoying the maximum payouts on these outcomes. We can’t fault bookmakers for creating these odds, as they have to factor in various elements to their sportsbooks, such as their profit margins, broadcast/licensing fees, and any other costs that may be incurred for participating in a particular market.

Therefore, the concept of betting exchanges in online sports betting has paved a new way for punters to directly compete with each other, without having to worry about diminished odds for an otherwise highly probable outcome. Exchange betting is not a new concept, as it has been around for centuries, but Betfair has pioneered this concept in online gambling by bringing it to the online gambling community upon its launch in 2000. Betfair exchange betting is also popular among punters, primarily due to the tremendous profit potential in one of the most popular sports categories in the entire market.

The principle of placing a bet through an exchange is quite simple. Essentially, Betfair acts as a middle-man by providing a platform that allows punters to create a market for a particular outcome. There must be two parties in a wager to create an odds market, a punter (or a group) who will ‘back’ the odds and another punter (or a group) who will ‘lay’ the odds. The person who lays the odds is against the outcome, while the person who backs the odds is counting on the chance for the outcome to occur as predicted. Betfair completes the market by adding their margin to the wager, and the bet is complete. Once the result is published, Betfair will pay the entire sum wagered on that odd to the winner, minus the margin (also known as the commission). Therefore, in this manner, Betfair does not have any direct role in the determination of the odds, which gives more control to the bettors.

Betfair Odds, Markets, & Features Offered through the Sportsbook

PROS / CONS
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  • Setting your own odds
  • Exchange and Normal betting
  • Live Stream function
  • Charges a commission on winnings
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The Exchange option provided by the bookmaker is incredibly popular among users; however, the sportsbook is the more popular option among newbie clients. Fixed-odds betting offers a reliable and stable platform that allows bettors to place a stake without worrying about the potential downside risks. In exchange betting, there must be punters who are willing to both lay and back the odds. Therefore, if any particular event does not have one side of the market, the odds will be deemed void. Betfair sports trading through the exchange is mostly suitable for professional bettors, as it helps to have prior experience when dealing with the varying odds and changing market conditions.

However, in a fixed-odds sportsbook, the market is made by the bookmaker, which ensures that the odds will be fixed and the wager will be valid for the entire duration of the outcome. Betfair has created an odds market that includes several aspects of a match, but the odds are slightly less than other competing bookmakers, such as Betway, bet365, 888sport and Dafabet. We feel that the availability of a betting exchange has allowed the company to cater to a broader online betting community and that the lower odds for some events would not have any significant impact on the overall profitability of the bettors.

One of the unique features of Betfair is their Cash Out feature, which essentially allows the punter to exit a wager prematurely to take a partial profit or concede a smaller loss. As is the case with all the other bookmakers that offer a similar feature, Betfair only provides the convenience of a Cash-Out for some of its markets. It is easy to spot the Cash Out feature in the platform, as the market will be clearly denoted in the interface with a Cash Out symbol. It is possible to exit a stake either partially or entirely, as punters desire.

Betfair In-Play Betting & Live Streaming of Matches

The bookmaker offers several in-play betting options through both fixed odds and variable odds markets. The fixed odds sportsbook for a match is created in advance, but some in-play betting options do appear according to the analysis performed by the bookmaker. On the other hand, the exchange betting option is more dynamic, as punters have to be proactive in accepting the different markets or creating new markets according to the options provided by the bookmaker.

The Betfair exchange matches around $10 to $100 million on a typical international match, but the figure can go higher for leagues such as the cricket IPL series, the World Cup, and other bilateral series. Regardless of the higher stakes in these matches, we can’t understand the logical reasoning behind the bookmaker’s reluctance towards live-streaming matches to their platform. Users are advised to watch matches on TV, which does not make sense for mobile punters. Of course, there are legal and broadcasting guidelines that prevent bookmakers from streaming games online, but with the kind of betting volumes that are wagered through the bookmaker, we do believe that Betfair has the resources to stream matches live.

As far as the exchange’s policies on sports betting are concerned, Betfair live rate is more or less updated according to the real-time live rates, but the bookmaker does not accept any responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of the live feed or any other data that pertains to any of the matches in question. While the Betfair rate is dependent on the data provided by reputable third parties, we would undoubtedly suggest punters obtain data from third-party live feeds to create a more secure betting environment. Regardless of your access to the actual timeline of events in any game, the live feed, outcomes, results, and scores published by the bookmaker are final and binding on all users.

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Betfair in India

Betfair does not accept Indian customers and has placed several restrictions on betting in India through their online sportsbook or the betting exchange. Indian users are unable to subscribe to the bookie’s services through the bookmaker’s international website, as the website displays an error message stating that their services are not available in the country. India is often considered to be the largest market for the game, but the gambling laws in the country are not conducive to safe and regulated sports betting.

Nevertheless, punters from India have been using online bookmakers to a greater extent, as the government seems to be relaxed in their views when it comes to wagering through reputed online bookies. Of course, sports betting is still an unlawful and non-licensed activity in the country, but sports betting websites are capable of operating in the Indian market by circumventing the laws that are especially applicable for companies or bookies that are based in India. To this extent, Betfair may be following the rules by not catering to the Indian market, but we believe that the company is missing out on a significant chunk of the gambling market.

A Short Description of the Betfair App for Desktop & Mobile

The default sports betting platform is a web-based interface, which is similar to the applications that are offered by other similar bookmakers. Betfair has gone for a slightly lighter theme, which makes it easy to navigate and find all the relevant information where you expect it to be. The choice of games, the betting markets, the bet slip, and the account dashboard are all provided above the fold for desktop screens, while these features are presented as menus and scrollable interfaces for mobile users. It is easy to navigate between the options, and even a novice punter can get comfortable from the word go.

Mobile apps for iOS and Android are also available. The Betfair mobile apps have interfaces that have a similar design to their web browser counterpart to make it easy for punters to switch between the mobile version and the web version without any difficulties.

There are two different mobile apps for both the sportsbook and the exchange options, which makes it difficult for punters to access both markets for their betting needs. On the contrary, the web version offers both options through the navigation menu, which we feel is the best option for those who require access to the sportsbook as well as the betting exchange. Regardless, we are delighted with the overall layout, speed, reliability and performance of the Betfair sports betting platform.

Betfair Customer Service & Interaction

First-time users will have a tough time accessing the online support portal, as it is neatly hidden away at the footer of the website. Of course, account holders can access the customer support channel after logging in, but we would prefer a prominent support link that is easily recognisable. We can contact the bookmaker through phone, email, and live chat, but they are not available 24/7. We did not expect such a problem at Betfair, as the company’s immediate competitors offer around-the-clock support for addressing customers in any time zone.

Nevertheless, while interacting with the customer support team at Betfair, we could sense the professionalism in their approach, which is derived through the knowledge gained over many years of dealing with punters from all over the world. They also have an FAQ page that contains information about all common problems encountered by customers. The company can certainly improve its customer service aspect by a notch, at least to bring it on par with the rest of the industry.

Betfair Review Conclusion

If you are looking for the best online sports betting exchange that also offers a fixed odds sportsbook, Betfair is the most suitable option in the market. They have an incredibly convenient app for desktop & mobile, decent odds, and a wide array of betting choices, which are sure to keep you occupied. Sure, there are some minor inconveniences with the company, but none of them is severe enough to hamper an otherwise excellent exchange betting platform.

Conclusion
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