Betfair Sportsbook Review

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Pros and Cons

  • Top betting exchange online.
  • Win as much as you can get matched, no maximum winnings.
  • Support is excellent and payouts speedy.
  • Reneged on casino bonus offer back in 2010.
  • Commissions on wins jump up after £250,000.
  • Not available to Americans.

General Info

  • 1999
  • Dublin
  • Phone, Email, and Live Chat
  • English, Danish, German, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish
  • Exchange and Sportsbook
  • Casino, Live Casino, Poker, Arcade, Bingo, Betting Pools, and Virtual Sports
  • Contact Us

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Betfair Review

Betfair Sportsbook Betting SiteBetfair 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. 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 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.

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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.

Notable Payment Processors
  • debit-cards
  • mastercard
  • paypal
  • visa
  • wiretransfer
  • neteller
  • skrill
  • debit-cards
  • paypal
  • wiretransfer
  • neteller
  • skrill

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 Betting Interface

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.

Betfair Point System Commission

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 Review 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

Live Chat Available
Betfair’s support may be the best on the web. They offer 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat. They also have an extensive FAQ that answers most questions. The Twitter account “Betfair CS” is also available for 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.

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Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti - Editor-in-Chief / Sports Writer & Analyst

Joe is the author of the blog, most picks, and the majority of excellent sports and casino content on SafestBettingSites. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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