- Professional Action Welcomed
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Betfair is the world’s largest betting exchange. It essentially allows you to become a bookmaker and accept wagers from fellow users. You will be presented with a buy price and a lay price on each betting market, and the site simply takes a small cut for hosting the service. Betfair also runs a traditional online sportsbook, plus a casino, poker room and bingo room, so it provides a very strong all-round wagering experience.
This Betfair review largely focuses on the fixed-odds sportsbook, but we will also explain the pros and cons of the Betfair Exchange and provide our verdict on the casino. You will also learn about the sign-up process, the Betfair bonus offers, deposits and withdrawals, customer service, wagering options and much more.
Betfair Sign-Up Process
It is quick and convenient to register for a Betfair account. Just follow these steps:
- Visit Betfair.com and click “Join Now” at the top right of the homepage. This will trigger a new window with a registration form.
- Provide Betfair with your gender, name, date of birth, country, address and mobile number.
- Enter your email address, choose a password and set up a security question and answer.
- Select your preferred currency (UK sterling, euro, US dollar, Danish kroner, Swedish krona, Australian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Norwegian krone). Decide whether you want to impose a deposit limit upon your account.
- You can enter a promo code or referral code if applicable. By default, it will be set to a code that unlocks the flagship welcome bonus in your country.
- Choose your marketing preferences, agree to the terms and conditions and click “Join Now”.
You can then fund your account and start to bet on fixed-odds sports or use the exchange, casino, horse racing section, poker room or bingo room.
Betfair offers a great platform for serious sports bettors.
The user experience is fantastic at Betfair. At first it can be a little overwhelming, as there is so much going on. You can choose from the Betfair Exchange, the traditional sportsbook, casino games, slots, live casino, poker, exchange games, bingo and virtual sports. There are lots of buttons advertising bonuses, daily prizes and odds boosts, and the homepage of each section can be a little cluttered. However, once you grow accustomed to it, the site is very impressive,
There are lots of quick links, taking you to big tournaments, live sporting events and featured coupons. There is no search function, and navigating the site can initially be a little daunting, but once you acclimatise, you will see just how effective and intuitive the layout is. There are lots of extra features to benefit from – live stats, exchange data, podcasts, a very detailed blog, picks, previews, a forum, an in-depth education section, and much more. The “Help” section is a little jumbled, which attests to the huge, sprawling nature of the Betfair site, but overall the user experience is excellent.
Betfair Mobile Review
Betfair offers so many mobile apps that it has created an entire apps directory at apps.betfair.com. They are divided into “Most Popular”, “Featured Apps”, “New Releases”, “Learning”, and other categories. Examples include Betting Assistant, which helps you maximize your chances of success on the Betfair Exchange, Betsplit, a one-stop shop for social betting on the Betfair Exchange, and BetJet Pro, a professional standard Betfair trading application.
You can also download specific Betfair Exchange, Betfair Sports Betting, Betfair Bingo and Betfair Poker apps via the Apple Store or Google Play. They all have very high average ratings from users, and a lot of time, money and effort has been poured into making them extremely sophisticated. BMR tested out the sportsbook app and the Betfair Exchange app for this Betfair review, and we found both to be highly impressive. You can alternatively just access a mobile optimized version of the Betfair site direct from your mobile browser.
Sports Betting Options
Betfair offers more sports betting options than any other online betting site in the world. Not online is it the biggest betting exchange in the world, but the traditional sportsbook is also extremely comprehensive. You can place fixed-odds bets and Exchange bets, or turn yourself into a bookmaker by laying bets. Within the Betfair sportsbook, you will find a wealth of betting options on each game, lots of live betting markets and plenty of futures wagering possibilities too.
Football (soccer), horse racing and tennis are the main sports at Betfair, but it also covers many niche sports. The Betfair sportsbook lists 31 different categories in alphabetical order on the homepage:
- American Football
- Australian Rules
- Current Affairs
- Gaelic Games (football, hurling)
- Greyhound Racing
- Horse Racing
- Ice Hockey
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Motor Sport (Formula 1, Moto GP, Superbikes, NASCAR)
- Rugby League
- Rugby Union
- Special Bets
- Table Tennis
- Water Polo
The esports section is very thorough, while the politics, current events and special bets all also packed full of fun and interesting betting markets. Most of the aforementioned sections are also available on the Betfair Exchange, apart from the more niche options like water polo.
Depth of Sporting Coverage
The depth of the sporting coverage is also pretty astonishing at Betfair sportsbook. You can bet on soccer leagues in Algeria, Ecuador, Ghana, Iceland, Jordan, Rwanda, Zambia and many other niche tournaments, with lots of friendlies, lower league clashes and development games available. The basketball section features leagues across Europe, South America and Australasia alongside NBA, NCAAB and WNBA. Pretty much every golf and tennis tournament imaginable is featured. The horse racing section is huge. You will have thousands of events each week to bet on.
Betfair provides customers with a really comprehensive choice of bet types on most sporting fixtures. You can bet on the result, choose from a long list of different spreads and totals, browse hundreds of game props and player props, and create your own same game accumulators using the “Bet Builder” feature. There are naturally fewer markets on the Betfair betting exchange, because it can be difficult to match bettors for really obscure selections, but the range is still very impressive.
Betfair has a superb live betting section covering everything from football, tennis and basketball to Gaelic games and esports. You can stream many sporting events live on the Betfair app or desktop site, and follow play-by-play updates via moving infographics, along with very detailed live match stats. The list of in-play betting options is very long, and the bet builder too is also available on live games, while the pages are clearly laid out.
Other Betting Options
The Betfair casino features hundreds of slots and table games from some of the world’s most respected software providers. The live dealer section is one of the best in the business. The poker room is excellent, which is to be expected when you consider that the parent company owns market leader PokerStars, and the bingo room is also great fun and full of promotions. Betfair is one of the best sites for horse racing, and the virtual sports section is huge, so it really ticks all the boxes required for an all-round online betting site.
Wagering Limits at Betfair
Betfair offers maximum winnings of £1 million, which is one of the highest upper limits in the world. Only Bet365 and William Hill offer larger maximum payouts, while Ladbrokes and a few others match that £1 million limit, but you can win far more at Betfair than at most sites. The minimum bet on the betting exchange is £2 or €2, but it is lower on the sportsbook, which should appeal to casual bettors.
The odds at Betfair sportsbook are pretty competitive with those on offer at its largest rivals, such as Bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes, 888 Sport, Unibet and Betfred. They are rarely market leading, as it is not a low margin sports betting site, but they are often above average. You can also find great value at the Betfair Exchange, which often provides far better odds than those available at traditional, fixed-odds bookmakers. It is always worth checking out the back prices at Betfair and comparing them with the best available fixed-odds wagering options, as you regularly find better value.
Betfair has a loyal, dedicated customer base. They love the online betting ecosystem it has built, with the betting exchange, the sportsbook, the casino and the other sections. It has never had any payment issues or security breaches, and its reputation is very strong among the members of the BMR community.
The Betfair customer support team is available 24/7 via phone, live chat or email. We tested it out for this Betfair review, and found the agents were a little slower to respond than some rival sportsbooks, but the customer service we received was helpful, polite and courteous. The representatives seemed well-trained and knowledgeable. There is also a very large FAQ section. It can be difficult to navigate, but it includes a lot of information.
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BMR Verdict on Betfair
Betfair is a vast, sprawling, magnificent online gambling site. It can be a little daunting at first, due to the sheer volume of betting options it provides, but it is really impressive when you learn how to quickly find your way around. The depth and breadth of its sporting coverage is phenomenal, the bonuses are great, the apps are excellent, and payments are quick and reliable. The high limits will appeal to high rollers, but it is also a great site for casual bettors, and we highly recommend signing up for an account.
When was Betfair founded?
British entrepreneurs Andrew Black and Edward Wray created Betfair back in 2000. The idea was to allow customers to bet against one another by matching them up with one another. It charges a commission on winning bets, but you will not pay commission if you lose. The business model proved extremely successful, and Softbank purchased a 23% share of the business in 2006, valuing it at £1.5 billion. It expanded to various markets around the world and then launched a traditional fixed-odds sportsbook in 2012.
Did PaddyPower and Betfair merge?
Paddy Power and Betfair merged in 2016. The Betfair operations are mainly handled in London, but the parent company is based in Dublin. Paddy Power Betfair eventually rebranded as Flutter Entertainment, and it is now the world’s largest gambling company, after purchasing famous names such as Sky Bet, PokerStars, FanDuel and FOX Bet.
If you’ve made it this far and are still not sure about giving Betfair your business, check out the top rated sportsbooks suggested below, or visit the Bookmakers Review rating guide to search for another sportsbook.