Registered in England and Wales, Betfair was founded in 1999 as the first and, to this day, most successful betting exchange operator. Unlike traditional bookmakers, Betfair provides the punters with a stock market – like platform, where users can trade (buy=back or sell=lay) odds, pre-play or in-play. Though the company also developed a traditional sportsbook platform, the exchange market is what drives users to bet with Betfair. Of course, you can use traditional betting on the exchange platform, but you can only wager on singles. For more information about betting exchanges check out our Trading / betting exchange guide
The website has a nice design, it`s amazingly responsive and it`s easy to navigate for an experienced punter, but a beginner will find it a little bit difficult at first – not because the website has poor usability, but because the trading platform is slightly different than the traditional bookie.
Bonuses and promotions
Betfair has a 100% bonus of 50£ for UK clients and a 20£ bonus (100%) for international customers. The terms and conditions are great and very simple, you just have to place a bet of at least 50£ (UK) or 20£ (Int) to be settled no later than 7 days after you open the account. For example, if you bet 10£, you won`t get a 10£ freebet. They are also running a lot of promotions like cashbacks, 5£ sports bonus for your first bet in casino / poker and other similar offers.
Odds, markets, in-play, mobile
As an open market for punters to create their own odds, Betfair has some of the best prices and margins in betting, much better than most of the traditional bookmakers (maybe Pinnacle can compete here). Surely they are among the top 3 bookmakers in terms of odds, even if they do charge a commission on profits as high as 5%. You can only back singles at Betfair. Accumulators are available on their traditional sportsbook section (called ‘Multiples’), but you`ll find the odds to be really poor there.
The market selection is top class. I am a long-time Betfair client and in my early days there I was frustrated that some smaller events like tennis challengers were not covered, but now Betfair provides you with pretty much any sporting event you want to bet on. A quote from Charlie Sheen in ‘Two and a half men” pretty much sums up Betfair`s betting coverage: “If a kid in Madagascar throws a rock at a tree, I can see it and bet on it”.
Considering that a large part of the action on Betfair is happening in-play, there is no wonder that they have the most comprehensive live betting selection in betting. Most of the events in their betting offer are covered live. With dozens of in-play matches at a time, from the Hong Kong football reserve division to the Korean Voleyball league, it`s hard to even imagine a bet that isn`t live at Betfair. The live software is incredibly responsive, but of course this is no more than a necessity for a betting exchange platform.
Betfair has official mobile applications for Iphone and Android, but you can find safe third-party applications (approved by Betfair) for any mobile operating system.
Banking, limits, customer support
Regarding account security and payments, I have wagered my biggest stakes at Betfair and never had the smallest problem. Betfair surely has some of the highest limits in the industry and you should feel safe and secure when betting or trading with them. Payments are very fast.
Deposits can be made through a wide variety of methonds: all major Credit and Debit cards, Skrill, Neteller, Paysafecard, Clickandbuy of Western Union. For withdrawals you can`t use Clickandbuy, Paysafecard and Western Union, but you have an additional bank transfer option.
Customer support is surely top class at Betfair, they have one of the largest customer support teams in online betting and you should get a fast, helpful response every time you need it. The contact options include live chat, e-mail, telephone and even a special twitter helpdesk account.
Betfair bookmaker review conclusions
Whether you want to trade or bet professionally, Betfair is surely one of the places to be. Simply excellent odds, betting coverage and in-play options, everything in a 100% secure and heavily regulated environment. They are number 1 in betting exchanges, with huge turnovers by players and big money being invested on every event. Beginners and accumulator fans will probably not fancy Betfair too much, but sooner or later every serious punter would do well to open an account with them and bet professionally – whether it`s trading or betting on singles. As a personal opinion, Betfair is my favorite bookmaker and I highly recommend it.