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Betfair Exchange Review

 
Overall rating
 
 
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Review


Betfair Exchange Review 2022: Bonus, Promotions, Withdrawal

When the Betfair exchange launched around the turn of the millennium, it changed the face of online sports betting forever. A true innovation, it allowed regular punters to play the role of the bookmaker for the first time. This review will take a detailed look into the revolutionary betting site, covering everything from the betting opportunities available to the licenses held. So let’s dive right in and find out all there is to know about Betfair!


Reputation and Credibility (10/10)

Betfair is far and away the biggest and most well-known betting exchange. While many have come and gone, Betfair fully capitalised on its first mover advantage and remains the premier laying site for sports bettors.

Founded in June 2000, its launch was not without controversy. Traditional sports betting sites were not happy at the fact that laying was allowed by the Betfair exchange. They kicked up a fuss, as tends to happen when a truly revolutionary product puts the cat among the pigeons. People were also concerned about the possibility to rig events more easily, particularly in the world of horse racing.

Today though, it is not only an accepted part of the betting landscape, but Betfair plays an important role in driving the prices of other online bookmakers across the globe. The exchange holds betting intermediary licences from two major regulators, ensuring that they remain honest.

A betting intermediary licence is different from the remote operating license held by most sports betting firms. This is what allows Betfair to legally put two independent parties in touch to strike a bet. The licenses held are:

- UK Gambling Commission: license number 39561

- Malta Gaming Authority: licence number MGA/CRP/131/2006

These two licensing bodies are probably the strictest and most well-regarded in the industry, underlining Betfair’s credentials as a serious and safe betting operator.

In addition to being properly licensed and regulated, the company also sponsors major sporting events around the world, including the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana tournaments. In 2003, they became the first ever betting business to sponsor a football team in the UK, when they signed a deal with Fulham Football Club.

Verdict: Highly credible, an innovative and global brand

The Betfair exchange has been around for more than two decades and was a genuine game changer. It has modified the way the industry handles odds pricing, as well as the way in which ordinary punters place their bets. On top of that, the company is properly regulated by the best in the business. Full marks in this category, for the world’s first betting exchange.


Welcome Bonus (5/10)

Although there are many great things to shout about regarding the Betfair betting exchange, the welcome bonus is probably not the thing to lead with. There is no bonus available to new players as such, only a risk-free bet. This means that if your first bet loses, you’ll receive a consolation prize in the form of a free bet (up to £/€20).

However, if your first bet wins, that’s the end of the welcome bonus. There’s nothing else for you. As far as risk-free bets go, it compares well with other sites offering such a promotion. Bwin, for instance, has the exact same welcome offer. But when you look at the likes of Bet365 offering £/€100 worth of free bets, the Betfair offer seems paltry in comparison.

In addition, there are a few niggly restrictions on the bonus which force you to jump through a few extra hoops. First off, you need to remember to use a bonus code (VAL225) in order to qualify for your risk-free welcome bet. But on top of that, the offer is only valid for those choosing to deposit via PayPal or a debit or credit card.

Verdict: A great deal of room for improvement

At least the Betfair exchange is offering something to welcome its new customers. Having that insurance of knowing you can’t lose on your first bet is nice. But if you’re in the business of hunting for big bonuses, you can find much better elsewhere.


Ongoing Promotions and Offers (5/10)

The choice of ongoing offers at the Betfair exchange is not the best. The reason for that is, in recent years, Betfair has focussed more on promoting its sportsbook site which launched back in 2012. So if promotions for existing customers are important to you, perhaps you may wish to consider that as an option instead.

However, this review is about the exchange, so let’s stick to the topic. There are at least some ongoing offers for customers, so let’s dive in and take a look:

Refer a friend. An interesting offer that you don’t see too often these days is the referral bonus. Each time you successfully arrange for a friend to bet on the Betfair exchange, they’ll pay you a £/€10 reward, up to a maximum of five friends. That’s a great feature, but when you look at Unibet’s £/€150 referral offer, it’s still a little on the low side.

Free software trials. Existing Betfair customers can benefit from a free month-long trial of two pieces of software, designed to help manage your trading on the site. BetTrader is an intuitive and affordable trading platform, while Pouncebet is a useful piece of automated betting software.

Monthly rewards. Players who place 20 bets a month will qualify for monthly rewards. You will be able to choose your preferred rewards package, from one of the following:
- Rewards: Get one £/€5 free bet per month, 5 free spins, an additional MyOddsBoost and all of your net winnings will be charged the standard Betfair commission of 5%.
- Rewards Plus: Earn one monthly £5 free bet, 5 free spins, two additional MyOddsBoosts, get a regular 10% refund on net losses, plus a £2 free accumulator bet every month. However, you pay an increased 8% commission in return.
- Basic: The commission rate is reduced to 2%, but you don't get any of the additional benefits and free bets or offers, including the Best Odds Guaranteed over at the Betfair sportsbook.

Verdict: Could do better, but low commission is interesting

As you can see, it’s a fairly thin selection of promotions for existing players. However, the most attractive offer for regular bettors is probably the Basic monthly reward package, which allows you to reduce commission from 5% to only 2%. Serious punters who bet on a frequent basis will not care about gimmicks. But saving 3% a month could be a huge benefit in the long run.


Deposit Options at Betfair (8/10)

As you might expect from a highly creditable international betting brand, the Betfair exchange provides players with a good selection of convenient and reliable payment methods.

In addition to the traditional card and bank transfer options, there are several e-wallets to choose from, as well as Apple Pay. The only thing really missing is cryptocurrency, which doesn’t seem likely to make an appearance any time soon.

The minimum deposit limit is nice and low, which doesn’t bar casual players from using the Betfair exchange, which is something we like to see. And better still, there are no unnecessary charges for depositing money into your account.

Available Deposit Methods

Payment Option Minimum Deposit Maximum Deposit Processing Time Processing Fee
Debit Card (Visa / Mastercard / Maestro) £/€5 £/€5,000 Instant None
Bank Transfer £/€15 Unlimited Instant None
Apple Pay £/€5 £/€99,999 Instant None
Skrill £/€10 £/€5,000 Instant None
Neteller £/€15 £/€5,000 Instant None
PayPal £/€10 £/€5,000 Instant None
WebMoney £/€10 £/€5,000 Instant None
Qiwi £/€10 £/€5,000 Instant None
ecoPayz £/€10 £/€5,000 Instant None
PaySafeCard £/€10 £/€5,000 Instant None

 


There are eight possible currencies available to use at the Betfair betting exchange. These are: GBP, USD, EUR, DKK, SEK, NOK, AUD and HKD.

Verdict: Good choice of reputable banking options

Every type of payment method you’d expect from a major sports betting site can be found at Betfair, with the exception of cryptocurrencies. With a low deposit limit, no fees and a varied selection of different currencies available, the betting exchange ticks all of the right boxes when it comes to funding your account.


User Interface and Experience  (7/10)

The Betfair user experience is something of a mixed bag, but on the whole it offers a positive experience. The site’s design has barely changed in two decades and the navigation menus are a little busy and could be improved. But then, this site was the first exchange. It sets the standard that all other exchanges have subsequently mimicked.

There are two Betfair exchange apps available; one for Android and one for iOS. They are much like the desktop site in that they are fairly easy to use, as long as you already understand how a betting exchange works. If you don’t, then the whole concept of the backing odds on one side and the laying odds on the other side can be daunting. But that isn’t really the fault of Betfair’s.

Similarly, due to the nature of a betting exchange, players cannot easily bet on multiples. It just doesn’t work the same easy way as a regular sportsbook would. In order to do that, you need to visit the Betfair sportsbook, not the exchange. So if you are not used to the idea of exchanges, this could also be a potential frustration for you.

There are a few nice little touches to be found. You can change the colour scheme away from the default yellow to the more old-school blue and white set. The site can also be displayed in seven other languages than English: Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian, Finnish, Hungarian and Norwegian.

Arguably the most important factor when assessing the experience of a betting exchange is the liquidity. If nobody will match your bet, then you cannot confirm your wager. But unlike many other betting exchanges, at Betfair this is rarely an issue. The site has the most liquidity of any other exchange.

Verdict: The benchmark for betting exchanges

Although Betfair was a groundbreaking product twenty years ago, not much has changed since. You could argue that’s because it works so well. And it does. It’s a perfectly good user experience, if lacking in a little style.


Sports Betting Product (9/10)

As a sports betting product, it’s pretty hard to find fault with the Betfair exchange. With more than 25 different sports to choose from, including a wide range of esports markets and over 150 horse races, there’s a lot going on.

Looking a little deeper into the available betting opportunities, good quality football matches tend to have around 50 different markets, meaning hundreds of different options. It’s not quite as many as the likes of 1XBet, but it’s way in excess of the average betting site.

With tennis, it’s a similar story; over 100 betting opportunities per fixture across more than 10 different markets. Cricket matches also have around 20 markets available and all of these top sports have high levels of liquidity, meaning that you'll definitely be able to place your bets.

Modern Features

Even though Betfair is a betting exchange, it has moved to compete with the traditional sportsbooks to some degree. Every sports betting site worth its salt offers some sort of cashout facility today. Well, not only does Betfair offer cashout, but it actually invented the concept. You’ll find several other little modern touches too, all across the platform. We especially liked the capability of conjuring a preset default stake amount, allowing you to place bets extremely quickly and efficiently.

You are not able to change the way in which the odds are presented. As a betting exchange, it simply has to operate in decimals. The other odds formats do not allow for enough granularity for it to work correctly. However, if you prefer working in fractional odds, hovering over the decimal price does at least provide you with an indication. It shows you the nearest fractional price to the real decimal odds.

One of our favourite aspects seems minor, but is important. The minimum bet at the Betfair exchange is just £/€2, which means that anyone can play. Even though it tends to be associated with professional players and traders, it’s not always the case. If you just want a casual wager for fun, that is possible with Betfair.

Verdict: Extremely good sports betting product

The Betfair exchange has managed to move with the times sufficiently to still be relevant to a younger breed of sports bettors. But it’s retained its classic look and feel, remaining the premier sport betting exchange. This is largely thanks to it’s rock solid product offering.


Live Betting At Betfair (9/10)

Betfair changed the world of live betting when it debuted around the turn of the millennium. Not only could you now lay a horse, you could do so when the race was already off, or  “in-running”. Today there are more than 25,000 live betting events at Betfair every month and the exchange offers hundreds of potential in-play markets at any one time.

The majority of its pre-match markets will turn in-play once the event gets started. In addition to the 150+ horse races available for live betting every day, there’s plenty of other sports too. Good quality tennis matches have around 10 to 15 markets for in-play betting, providing around 100 different betting opportunities per game.

Football is obviously a big live betting product for the Betfair exchange too. But it’s not only the top leagues. Even obscure competitions provide you with plenty of betting opportunities. Checking in with the Algerian top flight, we found that there were 16 live betting markets available, which illustrates the depth of the in-play football product.

When markets are turned in-play, Betfair will automatically refresh the available odds every few seconds. This allows you to track the movement of the markets as punters continue to back and lay their selections. The markets are suspended for only a minimal amount of time, as major incidents happen in each event.

The only real downside to Betfair’s in-play offering is the lack of esports liquidity. They are not short of markets, with dozens of fixtures available on games like League of Legends, DOTA 2 and CS:GO. But the in-play betting markets are not especially reliable due to the lack of money being traded.

Verdict: Extremely good in-play betting site for traditional sports

Overall, Betfair does an excellent job when it comes to in-play betting. The user experience is good. The sheer number of markets across more than 25 different sports is impressive. They miss out on full marks due to a lack of esports liquidity.


Betfair Live Streaming (9/10)

Given that Betfair’s in-play product is so strong, you’d expect it to back that up with a wide range of live streaming options, right? Well if you thought that, you’d be absolutely correct. Streams are available for all of the top sports, including football’s major domestic and international competitions and the Grand Slam tennis events.

There are hundreds of events available for live streaming every single day. They can be found on a separate site at video.betfair.com and all that’s required to be able to view, is to have placed a token bet. At the betting exchange, the £/€2 minimum bet is all you need to wager in order to facilitate streaming. These streams are also available on the Betfair sportsbook too.

Verdict: Comprehensive streaming from a leading live betting provider

Betfair is heavily associated with trading practices and in-play backing and laying. So it makes perfect sense that they would provide customers with the facility to view such matches. It’s quite hard to trade on a game that you can’t see! As a result, the Betfair exchange is one of the better live streaming betting sites around today.


Withdrawal Options at Betfair (8/10)

As we touched on earlier, the range of possible payment methods at the Betfair exchange is very good. The same options are present for withdrawals too. Unless you are looking for an express same day bank transfer, no fees are charged for making use of any of the available withdrawal methods.

Another nice touch is that almost none of them have a minimum withdrawal amount (ecoPayz being the exception). Processing times are very quick too. Only the more traditional methods like plastic and bank transfers take more than a day and they are usually completed in 2 or 3 days.

Full details of Betfair’s withdrawal options are found in the below table.

Available Withdrawal Methods

Payment Option Minimum Withdrawal
Maximum Withdrawal
Processing Time Processing Fee
Debit Card (Visa / Mastercard / Maestro) None Unlimited 2 - 5 days None
Bank Transfer None Unlimited 2 - 5 days None
Express Bank Transfer None Unlimited 24 hours Fees apply
Apple Pay None £/€30,000 2 - 5 days None
Skrill None Unlimited 4 hours None
Neteller None Unlimited 4 hours None
PayPal None Unlimited 4 hours None
WebMoney None Unlimited 4 hours None
Qiwi None Unlimited 4 hours None
ecoPayz £/€10 Unlimited 4 hours None


Verdict: Everything required and a little extra

Nobody is really going to complain about a lack of withdrawal options at Betfair. One of the reasons it doesn’t get full marks is a lack of crypto options. But the overwhelming majority of punters are going to be satisfied with the range of possibilities. And what’s more, there are almost no withdrawal restrictions or fees.


Responsible Gambling (9/10)

As you would expect of a global betting giant, Betfair is visibly supportive of responsible gambling. Aside from being a part of the National Online Self Exclusion Scheme, better known as GAMSTOP, there are multiple references to problem gambling support services spread all over the site.

On top of that, the range of support tools for possible problem gamblers at Betfair is top class. Here are the available options in full.

- Deposit limit. You can configure a daily, weekly or monthly cap on your deposits, to help control your spending on the Betfair exchange.
- Loss limit. Similarly, players can set an upper limit on the amount of money the platform will allow them to lose. The options for this are also daily, weekly and monthly, but also annually.
- Reality Check. A pop up can be created, letting you know how long you’ve been playing, to remind you not to gamble excessively. It also provides easy access to information such as your win/loss figures and your number of bets.
- Time Out. The time out facility is like a mini self-exclusion, for up to 30 days. You will be denied access to your account for the specified time period, until you feel comfortable returning to sports betting.
- Self Exclusion. When all else fails, there is the option to self-exclude. Doing so will see your account closed for your chosen period of time. You will not be allowed back in under any circumstances and Betfair will endeavour to ensure that you are not allowed to open a new account.

When registering, Betfair attempts to verify your ID automatically. If it cannot place your name at your given address upon registration, it will automatically prompt you to submit your ID. Certain features will remain withheld until you pass the KYC validation. That’s an extremely good feature, as it helps to fight against fraud, as well as underage gamblers.

Verdict: Top notch responsible gambling tools

It’s clear that Betfair takes its responsibilities as a major sports betting site extremely seriously. Although their words are quite clear, their actions are louder still, with a wide range of tools for those affected by problem gambling. There are few betting sites around with a broader range of support options.


Customer Service (9/10)

We have nothing but good things to say about the support available at Betfair. Clicking the “help” tab towards the top of the page takes you to an entirely separate support site (support.betfair.com) with a pretty good search facility. This should help you to get the assistance you need for most topics.

If that fails, you can always email the customer services team at info@betfair.com, call them on their UK number (+442030598888) or reach out to the Betfair Twitter support staff. However, your best bet is to make use of the 24/7 Live Chat facility, which is available once you log into your account,

In addition to this broad selection of support channels, you’ll invariably find the agents to be professional and polite. They are not always the fastest to respond, which is why they just miss out on full marks, but for the vast majority of the time, you should have no issues when contacting the Betfair exchange support team.

Verdict: Top notch customer services

We expect nothing less from such a big and well-known brand as Betfair, but the customer support delivers. It is extremely good. There are many ways to get in touch, catering to both younger and older users and the support received is invariably excellent. You can contact them around the clock, too.


Betfair Betting Exchange - Final Thoughts (8/10)

The betfair exchange is a highly creditable betting site, with a long history in the game. They shook things up and ruffled a lot of feathers back in the day, but have since found their place in the sports betting ecosystem.

Still the number one betting exchange in the world by a country mile, Betfair is the place to be if you need liquidity to lay a bet. It’s also top notch when it comes to in-play betting, streaming and customer service.

At times, the Betfair exchange shows its age. But there are some modern payment options, like Apple Pay and features such as cashout can be found on site. In fact, it was Betfair who pioneered that technology, reminding us of the groundbreaking innovators that they once were.

If you need a betting exchange, there’s simply no rival to Betfair, even after all these years. Why not register today and see what all the fuss is about?


Betfair Exchange Review - FAQs

Is it safe to use the Betfair betting exchange?
Yes indeed. Operational for more than 20 years, Betfair is the oldest and largest betting exchange in the world. As if its reputation weren’t enough, it’s licensed by two of the toughest regulators in the industry, in the form of the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority.

What does “back” mean on the Betfair betting exchange?
When someone places a bet with a bookmaker at fixed odds, this person is said to be backing. So if you wanted to bet on Manchester United to win, you would need to back them on the Betfair exchange.

What does it mean to “lay” on a betting exchange like betfair?
Laying a bet is effectively playing the part of the bookmaker in the transaction. When a bet is placed, someone has to pay out when it wins. If the person placing the bet is the backer, then the person accepting it is the layer.

What mobile and tablet devices are compatible with Betfair?
The Betfair exchange works on all modern technology. There is an app for Android and iOS devices, but you can visit the mobile version on any smartphone or tablet device.

Does Betfair offer cashout?
Betfair doesn’t just offer cashout, Betfair literally invented the concept that so many other bookmakers now offer.

Language versions

Bulgarian, Danish, English, German, Portugese, Russian, Spanish

Odds formats

EU Odds (1.50)

Deposit methods

Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, NETELLER, Paysafecard, Skrill (Moneybookers), WebMoney

Withdrawal methods

Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, NETELLER, Skrill (Moneybookers)

Credit cards

MasterCard, VISA

Debit cards

Maestro, MasterCard, Solo, VISA, VISA Delta, VISA Electron

Mobile betting

Yes - https://promotions.betfair.com/download-free-app-exchange

Live betting

Yes - Wide range of events.

Live streaming

Yes - Free of charge for all content with the exception of horse racing.

Customer support
Language Support email Support tel. Support tel. Live chat
English Yes
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