Reviewed By James Molloy
There are many iconic bookmakers in the industry these days and some that have been about for over a century. But few have been more influential than that of Betfair and it's been their revolutionary vision that has enabled to them to be at the top of their game since 2000.
Betfair were unique in that they were looking to set up a betting exchange. This gave the power back to the punter and essentially allowed them to become their own bookmaker, with both back and lay options.
Its success meant that eventually they were able to offer both exchange and a more “traditional” sportsbook as well, making them one of very few to do so. In 2016 a deal was agreed to merge with Paddy Power, further enhancing the company's stock within the gambling sector.
In 2019 it was announced that the Paddy Power Betfair brand would be renamed Flutter, a brand that Betfair had originally bought in 2001. Within it also included The Stars Group (purchased for $6.95 Billion), FanDuel, Timeform, Sportsbet.com.au and Evolution Gaming.
Betfair is very much unique in how they work with their free bet offers in that you can choose from one of three (all promos are linked to their betting exchange). Details of all three are available in the offers section on the Betfair site.
If you are looking to bet on sportsbook, then you can also get up to €100 in free bets as well. This is based on placing 5 bets at €10 or more to receive €20. Then place another 5 bets of €10 or more and receive up to €100. All eligible bets must be placed at odds of 1.50 or greater. Free bets must be used in 7 days and any winnings will not include the stake back.
Betfair has a huge number of promotions. Here are some of the most common:
Best Odds – Betfair calculates the overround from all the top bookmakers and then makes sure theirs is lower. This means that the odds will be higher. Sports include tennis, cricket, rugby and horse racing.
Rewards4Racing – For every €1 wagered on horse racing you collect 1 point. These points can be exchanged at any racetrack in the UK for savings on tickets, upgrades and experiences at that meeting.
You can sign up to Betfair using either the desktop site or their betting app.
You will work through a 2-step process. The first part will include things like your name and your date of birth. You can include account info here as well, such as email address, username and password.
The first part of their responsible gambling section is here as well, and you can set the deposit frequency and the deposit limit on the account.
As Betfair are a part of Gamcare, your details will be run through the system. If they match, then you can start to deposit and use the site as you wish. If they do not match, then you will need to verify your account.
This is a simple process and all you need to send through some documents such as driver's license, passport and utility bills. You can just photograph them with your smartphone and send them across, so it just takes a couple of minutes.
You've a huge range of sports to choose from at Betfair. One thing to note is that you do get more sports at the sportsbook compared to the exchange, although it's not a million miles and the ones missing are generally your more niche sports like table tennis and novelty betting.
Horse racing, football and tennis are the headline acts at Betfair, and you'll find hundreds of markets on top tier events in these sports. Golf is another marquee sport here, with the as many markets available as you'll see at any top sportsbook.
Outside of these, anything that would be expected can be found at Betfair. From widely available sports like US Sports, Motorsports and cricket to less widely covered betting events like esports and chess.
We do need to quickly highlight that obviously with Betfair you get a sportsbook and an exchange, which already puts them at an advantage over most. This is the key feature to the site, but for this section we're going to look beyond that and see what else they have on offer that sets them apart.
On the exchange, one the best features is that you are able to see the amount of money come in for a certain bet and how the odds have changed as a result. One of the strongest tools for any punter is being able to follow the money and the exchange allows you to do this.
Betfair were one of the first to offer live streaming for their users and it was one of their biggest marketing tools for a lot of years. They still have one of the best platforms and cover dozens of sports with hundreds of games/races/matches each day. You can either watch the games integrated into the site and the live betting section, or you can use their standalone player watch separately. To access, all you need is a funded account or to have placed a bet within the last 24 hours.
For those that don't know, Betfair work closely with a lot of current and ex-professional sports people. As part of their role they contribute to their betting blog, which is brilliant. It's updated multiple times a day and includes information on a wide range of sports with some brilliant insights, even from those within the Betfair team.
Like most, football and horse racing are the two biggest sports, and it's here that the bookmaker really excels. The site is linked to Timeform for their horse racing info and with it you get a huge amount of content to digest for each race. Timeform rates the horses out of 5 stars based on change, but also give an overview about what might happen as well.
Football is the busiest section on the site, and it links brilliantly into their live betting section. They somehow manage to bring a certain calm to the place where the most happens here, and this is down to their design and layout that we spoke about earlier.
Games comes with a match centre dedicated to each or you can watch with integrated live stream if there is one available. You can also get match stats and match view, again all integrated within this section.
The Betfair site is totally unique to the brand, so it's one that is pretty iconic. When they first started obviously there were none/very few other exchanges in the industry, so they had to totally start from scratch. The has evolved a lot since then, but on the exchange, it's still got the same sort of platform in terms of how that works, which highlights how right they got it first time out.
Both sections are pretty easy to use. The site comes with a range of sports down the left, the markets in the middle and then Odds Boosts/ offers for the day down the right.
There are two apps from Betfair, with one the betting exchange and the other the traditional sportsbook. Both of them look and function really well though and once you've downloaded each, you can jump between them within the app.
The bottom menu button and the integrated betslip means that it's really simple to use and you can jump from one market/sport to the next really quickly.
You get a reasonable number of deposits options from Betfair, although it's a not a huge number. Having said that, it will tick the boxes for the vast majority. All of the most popular deposit and withdrawal methods are available, including credit / debit card, Neteller, Paypal, Skrill and Paysafecard.
There are some fees to take into account for deposits. These include a 1.5% charge for credit cards and also a 2% charge for PayPal.
In terms of withdrawals, there are no fees and payments are usually processed within 2 to 5 working days. E-wallets will be back in your account within 24 hours.
It's worth noting that you can now deposit into your Betfair account via any Paddy Power betting shop. You need your account number and ID to do so and the money will be instantly available.
Given that you can choose between the sportsbook and the exchange is a massive advantage for Betfair. This is the main reason why you can nearly always get one of the best prices in the industry. You do need to take into account the commission that will be charged on the exchange as this can make odds look inflated, but even still, if you've a 2% deal from the welcome offers, it makes them one of the best.
Customer support is right up there with the very best and they offer a number of ways to get in touch. The most common and easiest is via their live chat that is open 24/7. Also, you can get in touch via social media, including Twitter (@BetfairCS) and Facebook. You can access all of these via their mobile betting app as well.
Responsible gambling is a huge area for Betfair and as soon as you sign up you are greeted with information on setting deposit limits and then also having to verify your account before you can deposit.
They have also created a section of their website that is dedicated to it all, which is well worth a read. Among the features you'll find on site are deposit limits, time out, disabling the withdrawal reversal feature and self-exclusion.
Given that Betfair can offer both traditional sports betting options and also the betting exchange, puts them at a massive advantage over most bookies. The site hasn't changed an awful lot over the years, but this is more a testament as to how right they got it first time out.
They are standing the test of time really well and aside from some of the deposit methods having fees, there were next to no negatives at all with Betfair. It's each to see why they are now regarded as one of the biggest bookmakers in the online betting world and the link with Paddy Power will only reinforce that!
"I've worked in the betting industry on product, operations and customer service for several years. A class operator will deliver on many aspects and we cover them all."