Betfair, the betting exchange that has revolutionised how punters place their bets, has launched its own fixed odds betting platform, just in time for this summer’s Euro 2012 football tournament.
Until now, Betfair has operated on a peer to peer basis, which the company itself admits has its limitations. Antepost betting in particular has been an area where Betfair has struggled to compete as liquidity tends to build up nearer to the start of an event, whereas traditional fixed odds betting bookmakers can price markets up and start laying months before an event.
Nick Hagen, Sports Operations Director at Betfair said, “We know from our own research that we lose 30% of our customers’ sports betting wallet to the competition. Why should customers have to go elsewhere and why would we willingly let this large chunk of business walk out the door?”
Thanks to the new “Price Switch” button, Betfair customers will be able to take a fixed odds price on any outcome of any market, even if there is no liquidity. Furthermore, if a punter does opt to take the fixed price, they will pay no commission on their winnings, as they are betting directly against Betfair‘s team of traders, rather than the exchange acting as a third party.
Betfair is describing the move into fixed odds betting as “evolutionary” as opposed to “revolutionary”, stating that the new Price Switch feature will “complement” the exchange, rather than compete with it. Hagen says that Betfair customers “…will be able to toggle between Exchange markets and risk prices. We ourselves will now offer a price in line with the rest of the risk taking industry. These prices will complement our Exchange and allow us to become a ‘one stop shop’ for customers.”
The Price Switch feature will allow Betfair punters to bet exactly how they wish to. If there is no liquidity in a market, they can take a fixed odds price, or they can queue up their bets on the exchange as before. But as well as filling holes in the market, the new fixed odds betting feature will introduce a whole new section of the betting public to the exchanges.
Ian Chuter, Group Operations Director at Betfair said: “We know that once a customer embraces the Exchange they are incredibly loyal – but it can be a complicated product to grasp at first. Having a fixed odds product gives us a great acquisition tool to get people onto the site and subsequently teach them about the Exchange and the benefits it offers.”
Chuter also believes that the new Price Switch feature will allow Betfair to massively expand their product offering, adding “And today is only the start for our fixed odds; our ultimate aim is to cover all markets that are on the Exchange and we will be increasing the markets we offer from 30,000 to 120,000 over the next 12 months.”
Betfair has an estimated user base of four million customers. Why not join them today?