Betfair shook up the gambling industry when they introduced the idea of a betting exchange to the marketplace. The ability for punters to set their own odds, bet against one another and trade their positions was revolutionary but Betfair have never been a company to rest on their laurels.
Betfair now offer a well-rounded betting and gaming experience including several excellent bonuses and promotions. In our Betfair review we look at what sets this innovative bookie apart.
Founded by Andrew Black and Edward Wray, Betfair burst onto the betting scene in June of the year 2000. The two men raised £1 million from friends and family and their own gambling wins to found a betting exchange. Betfair's superior technology compared to their early competition quickly saw them established as the pre-eminent betting exchange.
Betfair had to fight challenges from some of the established bookmakers who thought the idea went against gambling regulations but they came through those early problems to build a big business on the back of the exchange. The company then decided to offer a traditional sportsbook and other products such as a casino and poker before merging with Paddy Power in 2016.
Betfair have a welcome bonus for the exchange and the sportsbook. If you fancy betting against other punters on the exchange, Betfair will offer you a £/€20 risk free bet. If traditional betting on the sportsbook is more your thing, you can get up to £30 in free bets when you place a qualifying bet of at least £10 at odds of 1/5 (1.2 in decimal) or greater.
Betfair also offer a host of enhanced odds offers throughout the year which allow new customers the chance to win big on either single or multiple bets. Whether signing up for a new customer on the exchange or the sportsbook the offers do have some important terms and conditions that you should familiarise yourself with but the offers don't stop coming after signing up.
Betfair's new #oddsonthat feature which allows customers to request their own bets. If you try this out, Betfair will give you money back as a free bet should your first #oddsonthat bet lose. Betfair also offer a winnings boost of up to 50% on your first accumulator of the week and up to £25 free bet on every winner of an ITV horse race over 3/1. As well as generous offers when you first try the arcade, casino or exchange games products there are various money back offers for Betfair customers to make the most of on the exchange.
With both an exchange and a sportsbook to manage, Betfair have to put a little more work into their site than other bookies but that extra work pays off. The reliability issues that have dogged the exchange for many years have mostly been ironed out so the site works as planned for the vast majority of the time.
Betfair have used yellow, blue and black since the beginning and their designers do a great job of utilising those main colours to clearly display a vast amount of information. The home pages of both the sportsbook and exchange include the latest promotions, in-play betting options (complete with the current score) and lists of the huge number of sports offered.
Navigation works very well (the exchange has a very useful search bar) while getting a bet on is incredibly fast. A real plus point of the Betfair site is the way that they display stats and information on in-play event pages.
As touched upon briefly above, Betfair offers odds on a wealth of different sports. As well as thousands upon thousands of betting markets on the most popular sports like football, tennis and golf, Betfair offer prices on niche sports and real life events in politics and TV. The addition of #oddsonthat further adds to the betting options which are always being reviewed and added to where possible.
The Betfair sportsbook is highly competitive in terms of the betting value they offer but it's the exchange that really stands out in this regard. Betfair are rightly proud to regularly offer the best odds on football, horse racing, tennis and golf. The exchange is certainly the place to go if you're looking for value.
Betfair Video has been offering customers live streams of thousands of events a year for a very long time now. A small qualifying bet is necessary to watch live horse and greyhounds racing whereas for most sports (football, tennis and snooker for example) you're able to watch a stream just by logging in and ensuring there is some money in your account.
Betfair have always aimed to give people control over their bets and that extends to giving punters the ability to bet wherever they can get a signal through their mobile betting. You can bet on the Betfair mobile site or use their apps for phones and tablets. Available on Android and iOS platforms, the apps are very well designed, secure and full of the features of the main Betfair site.
The Betfair exchange gave punters the chance to trade their positions long before any other bookie and they were also the first sportsbook to introduce a cash out feature. The Cash Out tab is available at the top of both the sportsbook and exchange, click it and you are shown your current positions across both singles and multiples. From there you have the choice of getting out of a bet entirely, removing a portion of your liability or letting your bet ride for a shot at the full profit.
Paddy Power Betfair, the holding company which owns both merged bookies, has its registered offices in Malta. As such, Betfair is licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority. Betfair hold licenses to operate in a number of countries around the world including via the Gambling Commission in the UK.
In addition to jumping through all the necessary regulatory hoops, Betfair have invested significantly in their security. That keeps customers' information and money secure across both the sportsbook and exchange.
Despite all the steps that Betfair have taken to ensure everything works perfectly for their customers, they understand that things don't always go to plan. To help clear up any issues, Betfair's customer service department is contactable via phone, on Facebook and Twitter, through email and even through their live messaging service.