Betfair was founded in 2000. With its renowned betting exchange, Betfair has become one of the most popular and innovative gaming conglomerates in the world. Betfair has been providing gaming services down under since 2005. After surviving attempts to eliminate exchange betting by the Australian government, the company was able to win a constitutional challenge and establish itself as the top betting exchange in the region. In 2014, Betfair sold half of its interests in this site to Crown Resorts. Prior to this transaction, Betfair offered both betting exchange and traditional bookmaking services. As partners, the two mega-companies agreed that Betfair would focus on the exchange business while Crown’s people would move the traditional wagering services over to it’s CrownBet gaming site. Due to the gaming laws in Australia, Betfair is only able to provide Australian Punters with a stripped down version of its normal gaming website.
Because the Betfair website has been stripped down, it looks rather generic and sterile, even with the company’s signature white and orange motif. Without the bells and whistle found on a tradition website, it looks boring. With that said, it still provides all of the wagering options and capabilities that punters have come to expect from a premiere betting exchange. In its simplicity, it is also very easy to use and navigate with only three tabs at the top of the home landing page. It’s worth noting the third tab, listed as “The Hub,” is filled with news and handicapping information for the benefit of the site’s punters. Currently, Betfair is licensed and regulated by the Northern Territory Government of Australia.
As a betting exchange, it’s important to start off by defining a couple of key terms. By definition, lays bets are bets where one punter establishes the odds and posts them on the exchange for another punter to accept. Conversely, the punter who accepts the posted lay bet is making a back bet, or backing a side.
Betfair is the only substantial betting exchange currently licensed to operate in Australia. As such, Australian punters are afforded the opportunity to make their own markets as either the punter or the bookmaker. Under the “sports” tab, punters have the ability create lay bets or place back bets on as many as 30 different sports. Included on this menu are sports from all over the world, including Australian-based sports like Aussie Rule, rugby and cricket, and U.S.-based sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB.
Under each sport on the sports menu, punters will see a list of available lay bets that have been created by other punters. They can accept any of the wagers they want, create their own lay bets, or pass and move on to another sport or event. The only cost related to either of these two transactions (laying and backing) is Betfair’s commission for managing the website and providing the service. The commission is normally 5% of net winnings on either side. There are some circumstances where commissions are minimized or not charged. To clarify, there are no charges related to a losing lay or back bet. It is the responsibility of each betting exchange participant to read and understand all of the terms and conditions related to this kind of punting activity.
In the racebook, everything is done in much the same manner as the sportsbook. Punters who want to create lay bets may do so on any horse in any race at any racetrack listed under the “racing” tab on the racing menu. They can also choose to accept any of the lay bets already listed. All betting exchange racing transactions on this site are limited to win/place fixed odds. Of course, a majority of the action comes on horse, harness and greyhound races being run in Australia and New Zealand. Beyond that, racetracks from the United States, France, England, Ireland, South Africa, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore are also included on the list of available venues.
One of the great benefits of a betting exchange is the constant availability of future odds bets on both sports and major horse races such as the Caulfield Cup, Melbourne Cup, Prix d’ Arc de Triomphe and all of the Breeders Cup races. Future odds allow punters to derive extra value from one of their key selections, so long as their pick makes it to the designated race in good fashion. Again, commissions are applicable to all net winnings on both lay and back bets in the race book.
Bonuses and Promotions
Betfair is not a traditional bookmaking website. Therefore, the site does not list any welcome offers or betting promotions as incentives for punters to join in the fray.
Most betting activities on the Betfair betting exchange are handled over the Internet. If punters want to access the website with their mobile devices, there is a mobile app available for Android and iOS devices through the appropriate app stores. For punters who use other mobile operating systems, access to the website can be obtained by simply using a standard web browser and the website’s URL address.
Betfair currently lists seven different banking options. They include POLi, BPay, nab, Credit Union Transfer, bank transfer, VISA and MasterCard. At a minimum, withdrawal requests will take 1-3 days to be processed, depending on the banking method chosen by the punter.
In this kind of gaming environment, customer service provides additional services related to customer disputes. Many of these disputes occur because punters fail to completely understand the terms and conditions related to exchange betting. For normal customer service issues, representatives are available seven days a week, from 8:00 am – 10:00 pm, via a live chat option, email or phone.
Exchange betting is still fairly new to the iGaming industry. With that in mind, punters should proceed with caution should they decide to give exchange betting a go. The intricacies of making reasonable lines are complicated, exposing novice punters to an increased level of financial liability.