Best Sports Betting Sites 2018
Betfair Sportsbook Review
Betfair is one of the largest betting websites on the web. They are firmly the largest betting exchange online today, with no other site even close. BetFair is regularly at the top of the list for best-betting sites online, which comes as no surprise to us.
Betfair was launched in 1999 by founders Andrew Black and Ed Wray. They pioneered the idea of the betting exchange, allowing customers to wager at odds set by themselves or by other players. In September 2015, BetFair and one of its largest rivals, Irish-based bookmaker, Paddy Power agreed to terms for a merger. On February 2, 2016, the merger was completed, and Paddy Power Betfair was formed.
The acquisition was reported as Paddy Power acquiring BetFair. Paddy Power Betfair is owned 52% by Paddy Power shareholders and 48% by Betfair shareholders. The business is traded on the London Stock Exchange. Paddy Power and Betfair still operate as separate brands in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Italy. The company is based in Dublin but have offices in several countries.
Betfair holds licenses in the UK, Gibraltar, Malta, Spain, Italy, the United States, Australia, Bulgaria, and Denmark. Betfair.com is not available to US citizens due to federal laws against online sports betting. However, they do hold a license in New Jersey to allow online wagering on horse racing in the state. Betfair added a fixed odds sportsbook in addition to their betting exchange in 2012. They also offer an online casino, poker room, bingo, and other gaming options.
A Personal Opinion on Betfair Sportsbook
What We Like About Betfair
There’s plenty to like when it comes to the biggest betting exchange in the world. Their odds are regularly the best online for all kinds of markets, not just sides, totals, and moneylines, but futures as well. Their futures markets represent a huge bargain compared to other bookmakers. The edge or vig on futures is typically one-third of that of traditional bookies.
Betting exchanges operate without the traditional vigorish of sportsbooks. Instead of playing against the house and trying to win their money, your funds will only be won from other customers at Betfair. Instead, when players win, they pay a small commission on their wagers to the house. Which, in this case, is Paddy Power Betfair.
The company is held in high esteem in their home country of the United Kingdom. They have won several Queen’s Awards. They operate worldwide where they can receive licenses and are strong advocates for legal online gambling in all forms.
What We Don’t Like About Betfair
This section will likely be longer than it is for most betting sites with such high marks. To be clear, Betfair is an excellent option for just about every sports bettor. They regularly have prices that are not available anywhere else when compared to the rest of the market.
Betfair’s reputation is sterling aside from one black mark in 2010 with their casino offerings. They ran a casino promotion several years ago that offered players the opportunity to claim an unlimited number of 50% up to £200 reload and deposit bonuses with a 10x wagering requirement during a 4-hour period in November.
The bonus was overly generous, to say the least. It gave even untrained slot or video gaming players a significant advantage if they didn’t play much over the rollover requirement. Betfair had lost a ton of money before they realized their mistake. Instead of honoring the promotion, paying the players who participated, and learning from their costly mistake – they went in another direction. Shockingly, they locked the accounts of the players who took part in the promo and confiscated the funds out of their accounts.
One player even had his winnings withdrawn from his bank account the next day! Betfair’s actions here are not acceptable in the slightest. They should have honored the promotion and not stolen from players. We’re not trying to underplay this case of clear theft, but since that time, Betfair hasn’t had any hiccups. In fact, they have been the fairest online bookmaker since that time when it comes to odds and resolving other issues. That’s one of the main reasons you will see them rated 10/10 or A at most betting strategy and review sites.
As far as other negatives, there just aren’t many. With such excellent pricing, most punters aren’t bothered with other small stuff. They also process payouts quickly, so no problems there either. One major negative for sharp bettors who win a lot of money at Betfair can be their rise in commissions. We will go into later into the article, but once punters have £250,000 in winnings on their account, their commissions will jump quite a bit, making any future action on Betfair a fruitless endeavor.
Betfair Sportsbook – Deposits & Withdrawals
BetFair offers some of the fastest payouts in the online gambling industry. In addition to Pound Sterling, they accept the Euro, United States Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Australian Dollar, Danish Krone, and Swedish Krona.
Fast Payouts & Deposits
Their deposit and withdrawal methods are the standard options. They offer debit and credit cards, bank transfers (both UK, Australian and worldwide) and e-wallets, such as Skrill, PayPal, and Neteller.
Payouts are quick. Even bank transfers are often processed within one working day, with a maximum of five business days. E-wallets are the fastest way to receive your funds. Betfair states they handle these as quickly as 12 hours, but many players have reported their funds in just a hours.
Betfair Sportsbook – Placing Bets
Those who have never used a betting exchange before may be intimidated at the prospects of trading on Betfair. At first, it can seem complicated, but once you jump in, you will understand quickly and betting on there will become second nature.
Betfair is an exchange that runs in real-time. There are two ways that players can wager. They can “back” a wager or market. Backing means that you are betting that your selection will win. The other option is a “lay”, which means you’re wagering the selection will lose. Both of these options are tied together in the exchange. For a wager to take place, a player must simultaneously “lay” a wager while another player “backs” it. Once this is done, a trade (wager) can take place on a particular market.
Commissions and Betfair Points
Betfair makes their money by charging a commission on wagers placed through their exchanges, which is only paid on winning bets. Betfair’s commission starts 5%, but as players earn more Betfair points, this will decrease. As players earn Betfair Points, they will achieve a discount rate. These are earned at a rate of £0.10. For every 10 pence bet, a player will receive a Betfair point. This commission is calculated by multiplying your net winnings by their market base rate. The discount rate is calculated each week at Sunday at midnight.
Betfair does accept a variety of different currencies. However, all points will be earned at the rate of 10 pence or currency equivalent. This is known by punters as “weekly decay.” Once the commission calculates your Betfair Points balance will be reduced. Punters will be able to prevent weekly decay of their Betfair Points by using a Betfair Holiday. Players can continue to bet during their holiday, but will not earn any Betfair points during the period.
All customers will receive one Betfair Holiday when they register and an additional on every three months after that. You can use the holiday at any time, cannot have more than four unused holidays on your account. All in all, Betfair’s point system does an excellent job of making their already elite odds even better. The only problem comes for those who are extremely successful at their exchange.
Premium charges can become an issue if you’re a sharp punter. Betfair states that “a small number of our most successful customers will incur Premium Charges.” Each week Betfair calculates your gross profits and total charges generated over the lifetime of your account. Those who have net lifetime earnings of over £250,000, commission generated less than 40% of lifetime profits and bet in more than 1,000 do meet the criteria.
These rates are nothing to laugh at if you’re winning hundreds of thousands at Betfair. Keep in mind that only about 500-800 players out of Betfair’s 4 million or more customers meet these criteria. However, it can cause some major problems for those that do. It’s a cash grab for Betfair and a shot across the bow for sharp high limit bettors. A group that Betfair apparently doesn’t want playing at their exchange with policies like this.
If Your Wager Doesn’t Get Matched
One of the few negatives of exchanges is that your bets need to be matched for them to have action. On the main markets, the majority of wagers are matched. Even when it comes to smaller markets, punters can usually find an option to “lay” or “back” whichever makes the most sense.
If you’re looking for a hedge a bet at another sportsbook and need to be sure your bet is matched, we would recommend placing it well ahead of time of the event. Players can also cancel unmatched bets, which will allow them to place the bet at another bookmaker or using Betfair’s traditional sportsbook offerings.
Betfair Sportsbook Highlights
Lots of Markets, Elite Interface
Betfair’s elite odds are just one excellent aspect of the sportsbook. Their betting markets are massive, and they cover nearly every sport in the world. The most popular markets at Betfair are football, tennis, and other European sports.
Although, unlike some English and Irish bookmakers, their betting markets aren’t centered on those sports. Betfair has markets on American Football, Australian Rules, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, cricket, cycling, darts, football, Gaelic sports, golf, greyhounds, handball, rugby, horse racing, mixed martial arts, motorsports, winter sports, rugby, and more.
The in-play markets are one of their best attributes. In-play betting is invaluable at Betfair. Just about every pre-match market they have is available for in-play betting. At Betfair, it’s live betting with both elite pricing and interface.
Maximum Winnings At Betfair Betting Site
Since you’re not competing against the house, maximum bet sizes aren’t an issue with Betfair’s exchange. As long as your bet is accepted, you can wager and win any amount of money on a single day or wager. As mentioned above, Betfair does provide a traditional sportsbook alongside their betting exchange. Their limits are on the higher end for tennis and football, but other sports are lower than some of their competitors.
Top flight football leagues, including the English Premier League, FIFA World Cup Finals, French Ligue 1, German 1 Bundesliga, Spanish Primera, Champions League and internationals all have a max payout of £1,000,000 on match results. Other leagues have considerably lower maximum wagers, but that is standard practice among bookmakers when dealing with lower level football leagues. Most other sports have limits that are lower, usually in the £100,000 range.
Betfair Sportsbook – Excellent Support
Speed when it comes to email and live chat is ridiculously fast. They answer all emails in usually just a few hours. Live chat wait times are rarely longer than a few minutes.
The World’s Best Exchange
Betfair isn’t just the world’s largest betting exchange. They’re the best option for any sports bettor. High limit premium charges aside, there few times that bettors will be able to find a price better than Betfair’s on most markets. They’ve had a single hiccup in their history and are one of the most trustworthy gaming companies in the world.
Best Betting Site Alternative to Betfair
100% Up To $100 Bonus
- Lots of promotions throughout the year.
- Betway Plus rewards program for players.
Best Betting Site Alternative to Betfair
50% Up To $250 Bonus
- Soft Odds Compared to Other Sportsbooks
- One of the Fastest Sites to Process Payouts