Betfair is mainly known for being the first betting exchange and the one that dominates the market. The company added a sportsbook which provides traditional betting on many sports. Only one account is required for the sportsbook and betting exchange and funds won in one area can be used in the other. Customers with Betfair can move seamlessly between the two types of bookmaker and the range of sports is similar across the two divisions.
The sportsbook benefits from the trust placed in the betting exchange which has been built up over almost 20 years of operation. This review will examine the main features of the Betfair sports betting service.
Betfair’s name might have been made by their exchange, but their sportsbook has become increasingly popular in recent years too. Their latest attempt to drive new customers to that sportsbook has resulted in one of the biggest welcome offers around right now.
On offer here is a frankly ridiculous £100 in free bets for newcomers. This is a highly flexible offer, though, with the rewards being tailored to how much you want to spend. In short, you’re given a £20 free bet for every five bets of £10 or more you place. You can repeat this up to five times, to hit the maximum total of £100.
As ever, a few T’s & C’s come attached to this offer, with these being the key ones:
Clearly, the entry requirements here – £50 in wagers per free bet – are high. Then again, so are the rewards, with a £20 free bet being nothing to sneeze at! Overall, the extent to which this offer appeals to you depends completely on your typical stake size.
In addition to this, there’s also a second new customer offer which brings the Betfair Exchange into play. To qualify, open your account using the promo code ‘ZSKAER’, and bet up to £20 on the sportsbook at odds of at least 1/5. If the bet loses, your stake will be refunded in full, up to £20, and you’ll also be given a £5 free bet to spend on the exchange.
In addition to the new customer offer Betfair provides bonuses for existing customers in the betting exchange and sportsbook. The betting exchange specific promotions are as follows:
• Cash refund if a backed horse goes odds-on during in running but loses.
• Best odds on the majority of options in horse racing , golf and tennis.
• Refer a friend and receive up to £100 in the form of free bets.
Existing sportsbook customers can benefit from the following ongoing promotions:
Live ITV Races Free Bet
All customers are entitled to £25 in the form of a free bet when they back a winner in a race shown live on ITV at odds of 3/1 or bigger. This ITV Racing offer is subject to the following terms and conditions:
• This offer is valid for customers in the UK and Ireland.
• The qualifying bet is a single in any race shown live on ITV.
• If the backed horse wins at a Starting Price of 3/1 or bigger you will receive a free bet for the value of the qualifying up to £25.
• The free bet will be available within 2 hours of the qualifying bet being settled.
• The free bets must be used in a window of 24 hours in the sportsbook.
• Exchange bets do not count.
• The qualifying bet must be a win single or the win element of an each way bet.
• Cashed out and free bets do not count.
• Betfair will inform customers by email if they are not eligible.
Racing is shown live on ITV every Saturday and there is midweek coverage of the major races and festivals on the Flat and over jumps.
Betfair offered the best odds compared to leading UK bookmakers from the start of 2018 for the Premier League, Champions League and NBA. This claim is based on the lowest average profit margins in the three competitions. Data has been provided by trusted sources and is based on relative margins from 23 hours before the start of an event until 30 minutes ahead of the commencement of the fixture.
Additional data which adds further evidence to the claim is provided by Bet Radar and based on closing prices when the match begins. Competitors with the biggest market share are used for comparison of the match odds for the three competitions.
Customers with Betfair in the sportsbook and betting exchange can earn up to £100 in the form of free bets if they introduce five new players. The free bet amount is £20 for each referral and the maximum number of introductions is five. To be eligible the referred customer must stake £50 or more in a window of 30 days.
The free bets are valid for seven days but there is no minimum odds requirement for the free bets. Free bets stakes will not be returned with any winnings from the free bets.
The Betfair sportsbook offers Best Odds Guaranteed for all race meetings in the UK and Ireland. When customers take an early price and the Starting Price is higher or lower bets will be settled at the best odds. The offer applies to single and multiple sports bets and the offer becomes active at 8am on the day of the race.
There are no staking and odds requirements and this offer is transparent and achievable because bets are settled automatically based on the best odds.
Betfair don’t provide much information about their Request a Bet feature on the website, but we can confirm that it does indeed exist. It’s called #OddsOnThat, and – despite not marketing this tool – Betfair are still using it.
You can tweet @BetfairCS, using that hashtag, with whatever bet you please. Then, if it’s accepted, you’ll be given a link to add that selection to your betslip. If you’re lacking inspiration, you can also check out others users’ requested bets at will.
The Sportsbook is the first option on the main menu on the Betfair Home Page. There is a drop down which displays the 32 sports covered by Betfair. These sports are listed in alphabetical order and include all the most popular betting sports. The menu also features Esports betting, Politics betting and Special Bets.
The main sports betting page also displays the current promotions and Quick Links to the main betting events of the day. The current in-pay betting highlights also appear and include the latest score and current odds. In addition to appearing in the A-Z list of sports several have a menu option and more information about the first three is provided below:
In selecting the football menu option customers are taken to the main football page. Featured matches are displayed by leagues which include UK Football, Euro Elite and the main domestic leagues in Europe. Below this table the current live matches are shown with the time elapsed, latest score and current odds.
There is an arrow link to the related markets and a display which shows match stats and a match view. At the time of writing there was a break in the Premier League in England to accommodate the fourth round of the FA Cup. The EPL is the most popular betting league in the world and offers the most markets for each match.
Each match in the FA Cup is displayed showing the three way match result odds and an arrow link to the additional markets. These markets appear in the following categories:
The three way match outcome market is compiled with a profit margin of slightly less than 5% which is below average for the main betting brands. The more exotic bets have a bigger margin per option but these bets provide the chance of a big win for a small stake. Outright betting is available on the main domestic leagues in Europe and the Champions League and Europa League. Overall, the Betfair football service is comprehensive and varied and compares favourably with the competition.
Horse racing is the second option on the main sports betting menu which reflects its importance for customers in the UK and Ireland. The horse racing page displays the day’s schedule with results for earlier races and the latest odds for upcoming races. In addition to meetings in the UK Betfair covers fixtures in Ireland, Brazil, New Zealand, United States, South Africa and Australia.
The race conditions and details appear for each race and there is a Timeform guide and tip for races in the UK. For each horse the following information is displayed:
• Recent form
The previous odds are shown and customers can take a price or have bets settled at the Starting Price. The betting options are win or each way, place, betting without, match bets, Forecast and Tricast, Insurebet and Faller Insurance. Betfair provides a varied and interesting range of horse racing betting options.
Tennis is another popular betting sport but most bets are placed in-play rather than before a match begins. The tennis menu highlights featured matches and matches in the current tournaments. The in-play matches are shown with the current score, players and match odds and an arrow link to related markets. The Grand Slam tournaments are the most important for betting and at the time of writing the Australian open was taking place.
The match result two way is displayed for upcoming matches and there is an arrow link to the additional markets for a match. The related markets appear under the following headings:
• All Markets
The match result markets are compiled with a profit margin of over 4% which is above average for bookmakers that cater for the UK market. The more exotic bets have a bigger margin per outcome. Ante post betting is available for the other upcoming Grand Slam tournaments and latest betting for the current event which is updated after each series of matches. Betfair provides a decent tennis betting service with many tournaments covered throughout the year. Cash out is available for selected tennis matches and markets.
Rugby union, cricket and golf are the other sports that appear on the main sports menu on the Home Page and the A-Z list of all the betting sports. The six sports that can be accessed in two ways are the most popular betting sports in the UK. The navigation process to reach these sports reflects the level of betting interest.
The Betfair sports app is available for Apple and Android devices. The latest mobile versions can be purchased from the App Store and downloaded straight to your device. The Betfair app is fully functional with an exclusive sign up offer of £30 in the form of free bets after the initial qualifying bet for £10 or more.
Cash out and in-play betting options are available on the app which is one of the best in the industry. The app can be accessed in just a few minutes and then betting on the go can begin. The Betfair app is highly recommended for navigation, ease of use and coverage of sports, leagues and betting markets.
Betfair offers features which by name are unique to the site but can be found elsewhere under a different title. The Betfair bookmaker features are outstanding and better than those on offer with most of the competition. These features compliment the new customer offer, promotions for existing customers and the extensive range of betting sports, leagues and markets. Here are some of the special features available with Betfair:
This is a new feature which allows customers to select two or more options to create a multiple for one match. This is the Betfair version of personalised betting which allows customers to create their own multiple bet from a number of match markets. Customised betting is growing and Betfair’s feature compares favourably with the versions with other online bookmakers. The thinking behind Same Game Multi is to create multiple bets that are not generally available in regular betting.
The odds on offer are not a combination of the regular odds because some of the markets may be related. For example, if you want to combine a team to win and score the first goal there is a relationship between these two outcomes. If a team scores the first goal they are much more likely to win the match so Betfair adjusts the odds accordingly when customers request this multiple. The cost of the personalised element of a bet is a reduction in the odds offered compared with the odds on each outcome independently.
The early Betfair betting exchange was the forerunner to in-play betting because markets stayed open during events. Bettors could trade positions in-running by backing or laying their selections. The technology behind Betfair facilitated in-play betting and traditional bookmakers followed suit. Consequently most sportsbooks, including Betfair, offer in-play betting whereby customers could place bets during events and virtually right up to the end of the action.
Betfair offers in-play betting for football, tennis, basketball, cricket and badminton and many other sports when there is a major event that is often live on television. The range of in-play markets is not as extensive as in pre-match betting but all the most popular ones are covered. For example, for a live football match customers can bet on the winner, next team to score, number of goals and correct score. In-play tennis betting features match winner, set winner, set correct score and total games.
In keeping with a sportsbook that was developed on the back of the biggest betting exchange in the world Betfair’s in-play interface cannot be faulted. For any event customers have access to a match view, live streaming and match stats. In-play betting is suspended when there is a significant event such as a goal in football or break of serve in tennis. The amended odds reappear quickly so that there are very few meaningful breaks in the in-play coverage.
Trading on the Betfair exchange can be undertaken to take a profit or limit a loss regardless of the final outcome of an event. Traditional bookmakers, including Betfair, mirror this facility with Cash Out. The feature is an easy way to guarantee a profit if the odds move in favour of the bet. Cash Out also allows you to cut your losses if the odds move against the bet. Betfair allows customers to cash out the full bet or part of the bet and leave the other part of the stake to run.
If cash out is available on a bet a yellow Cash Out button will be visible. Bets can be cashed out on many sports, including football, horse racing and tennis. A Cash Out slider allows customers to specify the amount of a partial Cash Out. At all points on the slider the cashed out value is displayed. A single bet can be cashed out a number of times which provides added flexibility to this feature. However, it is still your choice to cash out, partially cash out or leave to expire bets in the Betfair sportsbook.
The Cash out amount is what will be returned to an account including the original stake. The Betfair technology works out the offer and customers can cash out the bet or let it run. Betting is suspended when there is a significant event and Cash Out is also suspended at the same time. There are delays in cashing out for some markets such as the next goal in a football match. The delays ensure there is enough time to suspend a market. When a bet is cashed out the funds appear in an account immediately which means they can be used for betting again.
Customers with Betfair have access to a service that provides sports tips, guides and systems. This facility is promoted as a service for Insight, Opinion and Advice. Part of this element is a news service which reports on developments in the main betting sports. The information is presented independently and there is no instructions or advice about the bets that can be placed for each sport. SmartPlays provide selections that are appear under the name of Timeform.
Customers with Betfair also have access to educational material. The areas covered include Same Game Multi, Asian handicap betting, accumulator betting, in-play betting and general guidelines about the most popular bets. The Betfair blog also has a forum where customers can introduce and discuss topics related to sports betting and sport in general. Overall Betfair Betting is an outstanding facility that is one of the best of its kind in the online betting industry.
Customers with Betfair can deposit and withdraw betting funds using debit cards, Paypal, several other e-Wallets and bank transfer. The minimum deposit is £5 and the maximum deposit is £6,000 but this can vary depending on the account history of the customer. In order to transfer funds into an account customers must login and click the Deposit button on the Home Page. There are generally no deposit fees and the money becomes available for betting immediately.
Withdrawals are undertaken in the My Account area of a logged in users account. For any banking method the amount tat is taken out of an account must nor exceed the deposits. This is a money laundering preventative measure which is common across the bookmaking industry. Withdrawals take from 2 to 5 days and a pending withdrawal can be cancelled at any time before it is processed. Once the withdrawal does not appear as pending it cannot be reversed.
Potential new customers click the Join Now button on the Betfair Home Page. This action takes users to the Betfair Sign-up screen. The registration process involves entering personal details, account details and a unique Password. There is a box for an optional promotional code. Once all the required fields have been populated new customers click Join Now to create a new account. The process is straightforward and can be completed in about one minute which is a significant positive.
Betfair will confirm the account registration and then prompt customers to make an initial deposit. This deposit activates the new customer offer which credits customers with £30 in the form of free bets after the first bet for £10 or more. The deposit process involves selecting a banking method and the amount of the deposit. Customers can specify a default deposit method or select one of the other options at te point of transferring funds into an account.
When the deposit is confirmed the customer’s account balance will be updated and betting can begin. Bettors navigate to the relevant market and click the odds that apply at the time. Selecting a betting option prompts the Bet Slip to appear. AS more selections are added to the slip the range of available bets are displayed. When the stake is entered the bet is confirmed by clicking the Place Bets button. On acceptance the account balance is updated to reflect the stake on the bet.
Customers can contact Betfair using a free telephone number and by email. The response times are longer for emails but overall queries are handled competently. Customer support is available 24 hours a day for 365 days of the year. The Betfair site also features a comprehensive Help facility.
The five top queries appear above various help sections which cover the main processes and operations associated with the Betfair sportsbook. Betfair is committed to responsible gambling and displays banner links tat provide support to problem gamblers. Customers with Betfair in the UK are protected by the rules and regulations specified by the UK Gambling Commission.
The Betfair logo is one of the most recognised in the gambling industry. Since the start of the century Betfair has developed a betting exchange. Betfair is now synonomous with exchange betting and the operator accounts for more than 90% of the exchange market. Betfair is a trusted name and that reputation has been translated from the betting exchange to the sportsbook. Betfair does not have to compete on odds and promotions solely because the strength of the brand attracts customers. Betfair has established a niche in exchange betting that promotes the sportsbook. Also this bookie is one of the biggest betting companies in the UK!
Betfair provide their customers with two excellent betting products in the form of a betting exchange and sportsbook. The new customer offer and promotions for existing customers are good incentives to bet with Betfair. The range of sports, leagues and markets is comprehensive and the in-play product is outstanding. Banking and customer support are efficient and the added benefits of Betfair Betting are significant. The sportsbook benefits from the award winning betting exchange, the odds represent good value and the site performs well in key areas. Berfair gives exchange and sportsbook customers a positive betting experience that is recommended.