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A pioneering and ambitious betting firm, Betfair was founded around its unique Betting Exchange, using state of the art technology, which enabled customers to organise themselves in one place to bet against each other…as opposed to a bookmaker. This concept really skyrocketed them to success, and today the Betfair Exchange processes over 1.2 million bets annually, giving them a trading value of a staggering fifty-six billion dollars. That’s not small change.
So what does this mean to the average punter? Well, it means that when you bet through this bookmaker, you’re actually joining a whole host of likeminded people and you’re betting through a globally successful conglomerate that knows exactly what it’s doing. This exchange they operate makes them a little bit different from other sites, but with its great track record and growing size, you know that when you bet with Betfair you bet safe. Can’t say fairer than that.
History of the Bookmaker
Betfair are the only betting exchange in Australia and the biggest worldwide. The company was founded in the UK in 2000 by Professional gambler Andrew Black and Entrepreneur Edward Wray, quickly becoming one of the biggest betting brands in the world.
They launched in Australia from Tasmania in November 2005, employing 100 staff in Hobart and also having corporate headquarters in Melbourne. The other Australian states, concerned at the prospective loss of taxes and revenue, introduced a ban on the use of betting exchanges in Western Australia in January 2007. Betfair successfully claimed that this new law violated the Constitution of Australia. A more narrowly drafted ban was permitted, banning people in Western Australia from laying “lose bets” on events held in the state.
As a betting exchange, Betfair operate in a different way to bookmakers with punters trading odds against one another. You can back or lay on a wide range of sports with Betfair taking a commission of between 2 and 5% from the winning bettor. By frequently offering up to 20% better odds compared to conventional bookmakers, the exchanges have revolutionised the betting industry.
Welcome offers can vary depending on where you go and firms need to be competitive in order to get punters through the door, and this company definitely pulls its weight in this category. They have a slightly different technique from the usual bonus bets, and instead say that if you place your first bet with them – either on the Tote Extra, Multis or Exchange – they will refund you up to $200 if your bet loses. Of course, any refunded amount must be turned over at least once before you can withdraw, but it is a very generous offer nonetheless, and its unique nature really makes it stand out from the crowd of other betting firms.
Everyone knows horse racing is a rapidly expanding and exciting field for the Australian bookmakers, and that punters are always on the lookout for the best deals, promotions and ways to improve their odds. Because the Queensland Winter Carnival is on the go, Betfair want to celebrate and show their national pride by cutting commissions on selected race meetings from May until the end of June. This is available through both thoroughbred and harness racing – and as an added bonus, greyhound racing, too!
Unlike sports betting, which can only be accessed on the betting exchange (excluding multis), this bookmaker uniquely offers racing in both the exchange and bookmaker environment, giving punters more opportunities and ways to organise their wagering preferences.
Sports Betting Products
The bookmaker covers many sports and it really makes sure to cover the ones it does well. There is a great offer where you can receive a free hit (which is a refund on the stake) if your initial bet on any of the races is successful. And the funds will be credited back to your account within twenty-four hours. This refund is up to the value of your lay bet liability (up to $50) or your back bet stake in the qualifying race.
Cash Out is a very popular option on this site, also, as it allows people to lessen their liability and lock in their profits even before an event/race has closed. You can cash out at your chosen point whether your bet has reached its natural conclusion or not.
The website got a very tidy, minimalistic style of navigation, which has some really clever tricks up its sleeves. The navigation runs horizontally across the top of the screen, with three simple titles: Racing, Sports, Cash Out. However, scroll your cursor over them to get them to expand into a variety of different areas. This site is tidy, neat and very professional.
They have a neat little quirk where they mark-up what’s new on the site so that regular punters don’t have to scroll through everything over and over again, searching to see what’s been updated. It also adds a dash of personality into the mix, making it less stuffy than other sites and bringing in a glimpse of that fun that betting has. They remember that people bet not just for money but for the fun and thrill of it, too.
The mobile client works fine and Betfair went there to similar simplicity like on the desktop page. The only issue we really have here, that there is a lot of room to improve the logics in the usability.
A nice offer that comes from this bookmaker is the “refer a friend” offer. They give up to a $100 to each person if you refer a friend who ends up joining and using the site. So it’s the more the merrier on this site!
However, perhaps their best feature is the dual wallet system, whereby Australian members are given two account wallets. Their main wallet is used for placing bets on international sports and races, where the Australian wallet is used for Australian racing events and sporting codes. Why is this important? Because the Tasmania Gaming Commission regulate wagers placed in conjunction with the Australian wallet, whereas the main wallet is regulated by the European Lotteries and Gaming Authority. And punters don’t need to worry – Australian dollars are the currency of use in both wallets and transfer of funds between them is easy and hassle free.
There’s also VIP treatment for the Owners Club at the site, where VIP treatment is given to greyhound, harness and thoroughbred owners. Each time your runner wins and you’ve backed it, you’ll be given access to the exclusive winning owners’ room.
A dedicated Help Centre is accessible through the “contact us” link and it’s a great place for people to get used to the site’s functions, information on how to bet, how to use their account or any other general queries that they might have. There’s also a section that covers more about their exchange, options and insights and advanced trading solutions for those punters who really want to look deeper into how betting through an exchange really works.
FAQs are readily accessible, as are the details for the customer support service. Betting lines are open without fail, seven days a week, every minute of the day. For customer support, the help desk is open every day between 8am and 10pm, including weekends.
However, one of the best things about this site is the Live Demo Account they offer. This makes it easy for punters to get used to how the sites’ account system works, building confidence and a sense of familiarity right from the start.
If you want to deposit funds into your account, all you need to do is use one of the following methods: Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, BPay, Bank Transfer, Nab, Credit Union Transfer or other services such as Neteller or Moneybookers. Free withdrawals of your winnings can be taken from Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Bank Transfer, NAB or Credit Union. It is important to note they do not allow cheques or third-party payments. However, with the huge amount of deposit and withdrawal methods on offer, punters really won’t struggle to manage the financial side of their gambling.
Betfair brands itself as “Power to the Punter” which really is an ethos they stand by. Everything on their site and within their services enables the punter to take their wagering into their own hands and handle things how they want to do them. This site has the best liquidity of any betting exchange, and is, in fact, the only licensed betting exchange in Australia and the only one to offer Australian racing markets. With a broad range of sports covered, superb tournament betting and correct score odds, and odds that are often made available before bookmakers, this is a site that offers a wealth of information and takes bookmakers to a whole new level.