BOOKMAKER RATING

Betfair review

The Betfair Group are the largest betting exchange on the internet. The company began life in 2000, founded by Andrew Black and Edward Wray, and now has net incomes of over £50 million. Since 2001 Betfair has operated as a betting exchange using a Gibraltar licence. In February 2016 Betfair merged with another large online sports book, Paddy Power.

Betfair claims to have over four million registered customers, of which one million are active on the site on a weekly basic. Betfair also claims it offers better odds than those offered by traditional, land-based bookmakers.

Promotions

When you sign up as a new customer at Betfair, you are entitled to a deal in which you receive a free, no-risk £20 bet. Note that this offer is not open to customers in Portugal, Bulgaria, India, Belarus, Chile, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia or Ukraine.

To qualify for this bet, all you need to do is place your first bet at the Betfair betting exchange within seven days of registration. The bet must be for at least £20, or €20. The event must be settled within this seven day period as well. If your bet is less than £20 or €20, then you will not be eligible for your no-risk bet.

If your qualifying bet loses, Betfair will then refund your first bet up to the maximum of £20. This is a full cash refund – not bonus money. You are eligible to withdraw this money as this cash, or use it to make further bets.

Betfair always offers a wide range of promotions at all times to enhance the sports-betting experience. At the time of this review, the betting exchange was offering a special for the Cheltenham Festival in which if you succeeded in backing a winner at odds of 3/1 or greater, you were awarded three free bets. Other promos included a 'double your winnings' offer if you predicted the correct score on selected football matches or try scorers. Also for Cheltenham, Betfair were offering to refund any bets you made on horses that turned out to be non-runners.

Markets covered

  • American Football
  • Athletics
  • Aussie Rules
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Bowls
  • Boxing
  • Chess
  • Cricket
  • Current Affairs
  • Cycling
  • Darts
  • eSports
  • Football
  • Gaelic Games
  • Golf
  • Greyhound Racing
  • Handball
  • Horse Racing
  • Ice Hockey
  • MMA
  • Motor Sport
  • Netball
  • Politics
  • Pool
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Snooker
  • Specials
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Winter Sports
  • Yachting

The Betfair site allows both in-play betting, and cash-out.

Site design

The Betfair site is actually two sites in one – a traditional sports book and a betting exchange. The sports book is exactly what you will find at other online sports books such as William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral. The exchange is very similar except you can buy and sell the outcome of events, you can perform real-time trades throughout the event, and you can trade to either cut your losses or cement your profits. If you are new to sports betting, it is probably best if you stick to the sports book.

Both sites are in Betfair's branding colours of yellow and black, which can look a little stark at times. In addition, the site is cluttered with text, facts and figures about all the upcoming sporting events and the odds associated with them. In short, Betfair is not really a site for beginners.

Cashier options

Betfair accepts Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards, as well as Solo and Visa Electron cards. You will not be able to withdraw to a MasterCard if you are in the UK, due to MasterCard's own restrictions. Deposits are transacted instantly, whereas withdrawals take from three to five days.

You can also use a number of eWallet solutions for both depositing and withdrawing. These include Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, WebMoney, Paysafecard (now incorporating Ukash). Deposits via eWallets are instantaneous, but withdrawals can take between twenty-four and forty-eight hours. Note that you will not be able to withdraw to a Paysafecard.

Conclusion

Betfair is certain not for the beginning sports bettor – it's more for the seasoned sports betting pro, especially the exchange. Unless you are already sports betting on a regular basis, it's probably best that you cut your wagering teeth on a less intense sports betting site than this one.

Once you've thrown away your sports betting 'L' plates, another visit to Befair's sports book and betting exchange will be well worth your while.