Betfair are a betting exchange rather than a traditional bookmaker. This means they operate a peer-to-peer betting system that allows punters to back selections but also act as a bookmaker and lay them too. Betfair is the Google of betting exchanges and dominates the market, having been one of the first exchanges around in 1999. They are a British company with headquarters in west London, although they now operate under an offshore Gibraltar license and are regulated by the island’s Government. They also hold licenses in Malta, Australia, Spain, Italy and the US for various aspects of their business.
The site has won numerous awards including several Queen’s Awards for Enterprise and the company floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2010 with a valuation of £1.4bn. With almost one million customers they are growing all the time and handle around seven million transactions per day – more than all European stock exchanges combined!
Although essentially and primarily a betting exchange they have also added a traditional sportsbook to their offering in 2013 and also provide games, casino, poker and bingo. They are a credit to UK innovation and a wholly safe, secure and trustworthy business that also happens to offer the best odds around!
Betfair Welcome Offer
Betfair’s welcome offer varies a lot but is almost always around the £20 mark. Until relatively recently they didn’t offer a welcome offer, such was their dominance of the exchange market and the quality of the product, which they deemed to be enough in itself. However, with increasing competition they generally have either a free bet or a no lose bet that is worth around £20-£25 – check the site for the very latest offer.
As with the free bet, Betfair were until recently quite limited in the way of regular promotions as their odds and site were generally considered incentive enough in themselves. However, Betfair are now one of the best and most consistent betting sites around for freebies. Some of their best offers are by invite only offering bonuses on winnings placed on certain sports, often 50% on football, cricket or golf. In addition they have loads of free bets for placing a particular type of bet, for example an NBA or Premier League accumulator, whilst they also often have an Acca Insurance refund promotion should just one leg of multiple let you down.
They also often have promotions for really big events, often in the form of a percentage bonus on winnings, a percentage refund of losses or some form of refund offer. With further promotions in the sportsbook and other areas of the site, Betfair’s offers now hold up pretty well against the big boys.
The number one thing about Betfair’s exchange is that because there is no bookmaker taking a cut the odds are usually bigger than you will find anywhere else and often as much as 20% bigger. Betfair make money by taking a 5% commission on winning bets but even allowing for this you will almost always make more money betting with them than with a conventional bookie. If you like backing outsiders you can do even better, with some crazy prices available on football, horse racing and other sports, with odds sometimes double what you can get elsewhere!
One of their other great strengths is their in-play betting and live streaming which are pretty much the best you will find anywhere, whilst their mobile site is also as good as anything else out there and really easy to use.
In addition, the range of sports and events available is also mighty impressive, although liquidity (other people’s money prepared to accept your bet) can be limited for smaller sports and markets.
Betfair is undoubtedly a “must-have” account for anyone serious about gambling. The odds are simply unbeatable and because you are not betting against an individual bookmaker you will never be banned or limited if you go on a great winning streak. All in all, top marks!