Betfair are the biggest betting exchange in the world. The company are widely renowned for revolutionising the way we bet online. By offering up a ‘lay’ option as well as a ‘back’ option, Betfair allows punters to essentially become their own bookmaker and in turn, give them much more freedom for betting than most traditional bookmakers.
The company were founded back in 2000 by Andrew Black and Edward Wray. Based out of London, Betfair has seen the company grow exponentially in that time, with a reported revenue of almost £400 million in 2014. Betfair now holds a license in Gibraltar, as well as the UK and in turn allows them to operate head offices from both countries. A massive step for company occurred in February 2016 when it was announced that Betfair would in fact merge with Paddy Power to form Paddy Power Betfair. It’s highly unlikely that the merger will change anything from either company’s front end, but more of a back room reshuffle.
Betfair, and more notably founders Andrew Black and Edward Wray have won multiple awards over the years for their innovation within the gambling industry. Their most notable has to be that of the Queens Award for Enterprise in 2003, winning the same award – this time for International Trade – in April 2008.
Betfair started out as a betting exchange in 1999 but have long since expanded their offering to cover a traditional sportsbook, as well as poker, bingo, games and much more. They were one of the first betting exchanges and so basically cornered the market in this peer-to-peer betting model that offers higher odds by cutting out the profit margin of the bookmaker.
They are a British business to be proud of, with numerous awards, including multiple Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. They process more transactions every day than all European stock markets combined and are licensed and regulated in a number of countries, including Malta, Gibraltar and Australia. With almost one million active customers and revenue of almost £400m in 2013 they are a huge, reputable and impressive betting giant.
Odds & Markets
As Betfair are able to provide odds on their sportsbook and on their betting exchange, the company are in a hugely advantageous position over a number of their rivals. The pricing structure at the sportsbook is actually really good on the whole, and they can more than hold their own. We recommend that you keep an eye out for odds enhancements on some of the higher profile sporting events from around the world. The thing is, if you cant find the price you want on the sportsbook, then you can simply jump across to the exchange and just wait until someone will match that price. Often on the exchange you will get slightly better odds than the sportsbook anyway, so you really get best of both worlds.
Market coverage at Betfair is pretty astonishing, with over 150 markets from some the higher profile football matches. But, they don’t just cover football well and in fact, they are widely renowned for having a huge tennis betting following, especially from professional bettors of the sport who simply wont be anywhere else. It’s really hard to find a weakness with Betfair, making them an obvious choice for all bettor types.
Betfair are quite simply one of the biggest and best betting sites around and since the launch of their sportsbook they have got even better. The exchange offers unbeatable odds, even allowing for the small commission paid to Betfair and also offers a huge range of events and markets.
On the other hand, the sportsbook offers a wider range of promotions and is simpler to understand for those not familiar with the workings of an exchange. The sportsbook offers a cash-out facility, which is effectively the same as laying a bet off in the exchange, to lock in a profit or minimise a loss.
Whichever options you prefer all are supported by the same amazing site which is quick and easy to use. Both also have access to top notch customer service (although not 24/7 and live chat not available in the exchange) and so all in all Betfair scores very well and has no real flaws. Many promotions are cross sector, for example play in the arcade may gain you a sports bet, and it is definitely well worth checking out the other areas of the site as there are loads of excellent promotions in the casino and other products.
IN PLAY BETTING
Betfair is one of the strongest bookmakers when it comes to in play betting. The fact that they run a lot of their markets via their exchange really helps the sportsbook and allows a much larger number of games and markets to then be turned in play. Football and horse racing dominate the section, but there are a huge range of other sports all brilliantly documented throughout the in play betting section as well.
Betfair were one of the first bookmakers to offer the cash out feature in the industry, so it comes as little surprise to hear that they also provide their punters with the partial cash out slider as well. The website states that not all bets are eligible for cash out, but from the games we checked out we couldn’t find many that weren’t cash out friendly.
The exchange is what sets Betfair apart from the competition. They have the biggest betting exchange in the world, which allows them to pull in a massive number of punters and even rival bookmakers alike. Whilst they offer up a boatload of both sports and markets to bet on, the main pull comes in the amount of liquidity that’s on offer with Betfair. Most markets have a really good range of bets that have been placed for each, meaning you will pretty much always be able to both back and lay all bets from the exchange, something that not many of their competitors can boast. This in turn drives the prices up, making them the most lucrative betting exchange in the industry!
Betfair are one of few companies to provide their own, standalone stats section for their customers. Whilst it does look suspiciously similar to a lot of the competition, the stats on offer are generally pretty in depth, with a bias towards the likes of football and tennis.