Betfair Sportsbook Review
Betfair belongs to the most recognizable names on the current online sports betting market thanks to its ability to attract all kinds of punters. Its trademark sports betting exchange is undoubtedly its main selling point, but its fixed-odds betting certainly deserves some attention as well, so Betfair’s general appeal is rather understandable.
Betfair was founded in 2000, soon becoming the world’s leading sports betting exchange. In 2010, the company floated on the London Stock Exchange, a decision that later led to it adopting a slightly more conservative approach to things. In 2012, Betfair started to offer traditional fixed-odds sports bets in a bid to attract a larger number of recreational bettors. In 2016, Betfair completed a merger with Paddy Power.
Betfair’s services are licensed by both the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority.
At the time of writing, Betfair wasn’t accepting players from a fair number of countries, including the United States, France, Greece, Portugal and Turkey.
Betfair’s sports betting is split into two separate sections, fixed-odds betting and sports betting exchange. While fixed-odds betting allows players to bet against Betfair, the sports betting exchange section pits players against each other.
The databases of sports and markets are almost identical, with Betfair covering all the major sports and a nice assortment of minor ones, including e-sports. The general margins for fixed-odds betting are quite varied – depending on the sports and markets, they can be anywhere between 4% and 10%.
The more experienced bettors will therefore probably prefer to bet on Betfair’s sports betting exchange, since it is possible to find much smaller margins in that section. The odds aren’t set by Betfair, so it’s sometimes possible to get excellent prices on many different sports. That said, Betfair is taking a commission from all winning bets, so that needs to be taken into account at all times. There’s a very complicated system of discounts in place, but it isn’t very practical for those who don’t bet incredibly often.
Notably, a large percentage of bets (including accumulators) can be cashed out in-play, which allows players to react to score changes and other developments.
Fixed-odds bets can be placed for as little as €0.12, but it’s impossible to go below €2 on the sports betting exchange.
Betfair allows players to watch a solid number of sporting events through the so-called Betfair TV. Horse racing is getting the most attention, but there are also many streams from football, tennis, basketball and darts events.
Players can enjoy Betfair’s services through mobile apps that are available for both Android and iOS devices, while there’s also a mobile website waiting for players that don’t want to download and install anything.
Apart from sports betting, Betfair also has sections dedicated to casino games, bingo and poker.
Betfair’s customer support can be reached by phone, e-mail and live chat.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Players can deposit through a variety of methods, including bank transfers, Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, WebMoney and Paysafecard. Generally, the minimum deposit stands at €10 or €15.
Withdrawals can be made through a variety of methods, but Betfair is enforcing a “closed loop” policy that forces players to use the same method for both deposits and withdrawals whenever possible.
The list of accepted currencies includes American dollars, British pounds, Australian dollars, Hong Kong dollars, Danish kroner and Swedish kronor.
Truth to be told, the one thing that makes Betfair well and truly stand out is its unique betting exchange service that allows players to bet against each other. There are some similar services out there, of course, but the one Betfair is offering is still head and shoulders above the rest of the competition.
One doesn’t need to be a fan of betting exchanges in order to be able to enjoy Betfair, however, as it is offering fixed-odds betting as well. With live streams and mobile apps also thrown into the mix, it’s not that hard to see why Betfair is universally seen as one of the most complete bookmakers in the industry.