Choice of betting on both the exchange or sportsbook, with easy switching between platforms
Excellent racecard layout with detailed form, previews and analysis of each runner
Attractive offers for new customers and regular special bonus promotions on races
Single page registration process makes sign-up straightforward
More than 20 years after it staged a revolution in the world of sports betting, Betfair is still the world’s leading venue for exchange wagering. It was in 2000 that punters were confronted with the radical possibilities of effectively setting their own prices and betting against other visitors to the website. The introduction of a betting exchange also meant that people could bet on horses to lose - by laying them - rather than simply selecting the runner they thought would win. Many operators have followed the exchange route since, but Betfair remains the original mould-breaker and has worked hard to maintain its dominance in the field. It has also kept its profile high by sponsoring two of the biggest jumps races of the year, the Betfair Chase at Haydock and the Tingle Creek at Sandown.
Having established itself as the main name in exchange betting, in 2012 Betfair upped its game again by launching a sportsbook to go head-to-head with the traditional operators. When you sign up to the Betfair website, you can bet on either the exchange or fixed odds - and it’s incredibly easy to switch between the two with a single click. The layout of the site is stylish and functional at the same time. There’s a heap of information to help you, including a guide to using the exchange, form for each runner and overall analysis of every race.
Even signing up for an account is streamlined, with all the details on a single page - although the security provisions are just as stringent as for any other bookmaker’s site. There are attractive sign-up offers, and regular odds boosts on the sportsbook for horse racing punters. Whether you are a fan of old-school fixed-odds punting, or comfortable with the intricacies of exchange betting, betting with Betfair is a genuinely, and appropriately, 21st-century experience.
Great sign-up offers and regular odds boosts for horse racing sportsbook punters
Top dog in exchange betting since it launched in 2000
Best odds guaranteed on UK and Irish races
Special offers for sportsbook and exchange customers
You need to bet to live stream races on the app
Separate apps for exchange and sportsbook betting
One of the advantages Betfair has over its rivals is that it can extend special offers to customers both on its sportsbook and on the exchange. That ensures there is a huge variety of offers to choose from when you want to engage in Betfair horse racing betting. The stand-out current sportsbook offer for new customers is no less than £100 in free bets. This comes in five £20 boosts, and to qualify for each you have to have five £10 bets at odds better than 1.5 (1/2 in fractional odds). You can also boost your odds on three horses every day, while you can get a £5 free multiple bet if you place a £20 multiple.
When you place a bet with Betfair online, on the sportsbook or the exchange, you qualify to watch a live video stream of the race. Live pictures with commentary are available on races in the UK and Ireland, as well as territories across the globe. To qualify for live streaming on the exchange, you need to place a minimum matched bet worth at least £2. On the sportsbook, your stake must be at least £1. The stream launches on a separate window rather than being embedded in the main body of the website.
Given the nature of exchange betting, Best Odds Guaranteed is not available on back or lay bets on Betfair horse racing bets. However, this facility is available to punters on Betfair’s sportsbook. Best Odds Guaranteed covers horse races in the UK and Ireland on the day of the race. This means that if you back a horse and its odds get longer before the race, your bet will be paid at the starting price (SP). However, if you bet on a runner whose odds then shorten, you will still be paid at the price it was when you put down your stake.
Betfair has not one but two apps available for use on Apple and Android devices. You have to launch the sportsbook app and the exchange app separately on your mobile. The great news is, though, that switching between the two is as simple as it is on the website. A single click of a button on the lower navigation bar whisks you instantly from one to the other. It makes it incredibly easy to compare the Betfair horse racing odds on a runner in a particular race.
As you would expect, the customer experience on both the apps is outstanding. There is virtually no time lag between your click and the result you want. All the features available on the website are present in the apps, including live streaming and all available bonuses.
Navigating around the markets in each app is extremely quick and easy. Another fascinating feature is the Betfair App Directory. Here you can find external apps that give you advanced cash-out functionality, or even automate your betting strategy. The Betfair apps score impressively highly on review sites, where ratings can notoriously be skewed by frustrated losing punters.
It was the advent of the Betfair Exchange that in part drove the betting industry towards the adoption of in-play betting. The fact that a large number of punters now enjoy wagering while the action is under way owes so much to Betfair, where the odds fluctuate at dizzying speed even as the runners approach the finish line. Similarly, the idea of cashing out comes from the exchanges, where closing your bet at the right moment during a horse race has long been an art form. Betfair’s sportsbook, which tends to be the haunt of the traditional betting enthusiast, also operates in-play betting and Cash Out - look for the “take” button.
Betfair’s status as a trailblazer in the field of exchange betting has been attracting loyal customers and fans for a generation. Many visitors old and new to the company’s websites and both its apps have taken the time to share their experience on sites such as the App Store and bookmakeradvisor.com. People like betting with Betfair online for many reasons. When it comes to the exchange, one happy client said: “It’s safe, convenient, liquid and very simple and quick to deposit and withdraw.” That excellent user experience motivated one customer to say: “No betting site comes close for ease of use.”
Betfair has embraced the new age of offers and promotions in the battle for customers. That has not gone unnoticed by visitors to the site and app. “Great weekly and monthly bonuses on offer, and quick withdrawals,” was the verdict of one client, while another said the company was “very good on offers such as best odds, and other bonuses”. One visitor summed up Betfair’s appeal to its audience with the pithy review: “Plenty of offers, great odds, free bets and more.”
Betfair takes customer security and online safety very seriously. The site is completely ISO27001 certified, the de-facto global standard for Information Security Management. The ISO27001 certification shows the bookmaker is committed to delivering premium quality security, so users can worry more about betting, and less about their online safety.
Betfair also meets the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard and undergoes annual PCI validation by an external and independent assessor. All these steps are taken to ensure users can have confidence that payment card details are stored and used securely. Betfair also does random security checks on a continuous basis to ensure that a card is not being fraudulently used. Card data is, at no time, sent over the internet during the validation. Incorrect details associated with your card will result in your account being suspended for security reasons.
Who owns Betfair?
Betfair is now owned by Flutter Entertainment. This was set up as a holding company after the merger of Betfair and Paddy Power in 2016. Some 52% of the business is owned by former Paddy Power shareholders, with 48% by former Betfair shareholders.
How long does Betfair withdrawal take?
Withdrawing funds from your Betfair account after a profitable run of bets is easy - you can find the option on a dropdown menu on the home page. Depending on your location and banking method, the funds should be with you in between two and five days.
Are Paddy Power and Betfair the same?
No. A merger deal, completed in 2016, led to the creation of Paddy Power Betfair, now called Flutter Entertainment. But while they may be in the same joint ownership, Paddy Power and Betfair have continued as separate entities. They are still running their own, very different, betting operations.
How do I use my free bet on Betfair?
When you qualify for a Betfair free bet, it will appear in the wallet accessed from the top navigation bar - there is a section dedicated to free bets. When you place a wager, you will be given the option to use the free bet for the purpose.
How many places does Betfair pay?
That depends on the race. When you place an each-way Betfair horse racing bet, the number of places that earn a return is dictated by the number of runners. However, Betfair runs regular promotions that boost the number of places that qualify for each-way returns.