Betfair were founded in 1999 and pioneered the person to person exchange betting model. They have now grown to such an extent that they process over 7 million transactions each and every day. They remain the largest betting exchange operator and continue to have huge influence in the betting industry.
Betting exchanges used to offer better prices than traditional bookmakers in pretty close to 100% of all betting markets. More recently however, the gap has closed, but even so, Betfair continue to offer bigger prices in the majority of events. The flexibility, coupled with the hedging and trading opportunities, mean that any punter who takes their betting seriously, must have access to an account on the exchanges.
Betfair’s product range is the best in the industry. In addition to the widest selection of markets anywhere, Betfair also now offer fixed odds and multiple selections, meaning they also offer everything that a traditional bookmaker would. The range of markets that can be used ‘in-play‘ is also incredibly broad – Betfair estimate that 33% of their trades are placed in play, and that figure will continue to rise. Betfair will also consider creating a market on request, or adding new players or outcomes etc to existing markets if the desired bet is not immediately available.
Product range rating: 5/5
Exchanges needed to guide new customers through every step when they first came to the market, which means there is a whole host of tutorials, videos and walk-throughs for every aspect of the exchange. In addition, there is online support including FAQ’s and account guidance. There is not however, any interactive or telephone support.
Support rating: 4/5
Betfair offer frequent bonuses after initial sign up offers. These are normally linked to a specific event or casino game. There is also an on-going reward scheme that gives points back to the account holder on every bet – if these points reach certain levels, then the commission rate drops. This can be extremely lucrative for regular or big stake punters,
Bonuses rating: 4/5
Betfair have been at the forefront of new developments since their creation in 1999. The website is fast and clear, though with the sheer volume of markets on offer, finding a specific price can take a few clicks if the event is particularly obscure. The site also includes Live video where available, as well as a community area and a ‘betchecker’ facility for direct odds comparison. Betfair really excel when it comes to new applications however, their mobile offerings are available to all handsets and they also continue to roll out innovative software, the ‘Betfair Anywhere‘ price comparison application being the latest.
Exchanges have traditionally had better prices than normal bookmakers, and while the gap is certainly closing, they still retain an edge over the bulk of their rivals. While the days of prices 20% greater as standard have gone, Betfair are regularly the best price, even after commission. Customers solely looking for the best prices should not look beyond Betfair.
Betfair are the largest and most influential of the exchanges and effectively revolutionized the betting industry. Due to the sheer size of Betfair, they have the most liquidity in their markets, and should therefore be the first choice of any traders. The larger prices offered by the exchanges, mean that most punters should have an account with at least one firm, and for the time being, Betfair are undoubtedly the best.