Betfair are now a household name on the market and came to prominence at the turn of the millennium as the first major betting exchange in the UK, revolutionising the way we bet.
Going its own way for a number of years and voluntarily paying into British horse racing via the levy system, Betfair merged with Paddy Power in 2016 creating one of the biggest betting firms on the planet.
Although the customer service could be looked at, the technology is top class and the welcome bonus is one of the best you’ll find.
Betfair Sign Up Offer
Many merged brands end up simply replicating each other’s new customer offers, but where Paddy Power’s sign up deal is not the best around, Betfair’s is a little more generous to the punter.
Betfair are offering new players up to £100 in free bets for joining up and, while the offer is split and won’t involve you getting the £100 in one go, it remains a pretty strong opening offer.
All new players over 18 can sign up with the firm, place bets of £10 or more at odds of 1/2 (1.50) or bigger, and get a free bet of £20 each time. This can be repeated up to five times with the upshot being that you have staked a total of £50 to receive £100 making this a very strong deal indeed.
You will need a promo code for this one so be sure to write it down and submit it when requested upon signup, your free bets being placed in your account within 24 hours of the qualifying bet being settled. You will need to make any and all qualifying bets within 30 days of joining up.
Although the bonus is split into 5 x free bets, the amount offered (£100) and the percentage (200%) make this one of the best new customer deals anywhere on the market right now for horse racing punters and sportsbook players alike.
Betfair Ongoing Promotions
Horse racing punters are particularly well looked after in terms of Betfair’s longer running promos too, starting with their ITV Racing deal. You can grab a free bet up to £25 for backing a winner shown on live TV at odds of 3/1 or more, though the free bet is only valid for 48 hours upon receipt so use it quickly!
All UK and Irish horse and greyhound races are covered by the best odds guaranteed offer meaning if you back a runner and take a price then the SP is bigger, you’ll be paid out at the bigger price. For bigger players, all UK and Irish races are covered with the minimum bet to win guarantee meaning you’ll always be able to get on at up to £500 no questions asked, though contact a trader via live chat if you want to place more money.
Referring a friend to the Betfair sportsbook can earn you £100 and the firm also guarantee best odds on the Premier League every match day. The same thing applies to NBA games and ATP tennis too.
As one of the biggest names in the business now we fully expected Betfair’s security protocols to be top notch and to be fair, we weren’t disappointed with that.
They are professional, understanding of sensitive data and very secure. As well as employing the best SSL encryption managing to cipher all of your personal and financial data, their published security-related FAQ’s on the website are very detailed answering any questions you would have on the matter.
Betfair assure customers that they review their protocols regularly so there should be no chance of anyone circumnavigating their systems and controlling the information.
Betfair Horse Betting Features
Betfair these days gives a choice; you can bet using a traditional sportsbook or via the exchange. Although odds tend to be favourable betting against fellow punters on the exchange, many still simply want fixed odds and with the help of partners Paddy Power you’d believe Betfair have been doing this for decades.
Opening the horse racing page allows you to see the line-up of races for the next three days while you can also jump straight to the totepool, but more on that later.
The first thing you’ll see under the menu is the racing schedule, showing all upcoming races track by track. Beneath that is the ‘quick pick’ view, showing races from all tracks in time order so that you can simply bet on whatever race is next if you prefer. Certain races have individual promos attached to them and these are clearly shown with a yellow banner over the race time.
Within each race you’ll find options for ‘win or EW’, ‘place’, ‘betting without’ and ‘forecast and tricast’ at the top. Under the normal win and each-way list you’ll see all runners and riders, each-way terms and current odds. You can choose to take this, or the SP, though with best odds guaranteed on every domestic race you should always grab the current price.
At the top of the race card, featuring enough info to get you started, there is a synopsis of the race along with a tip from Timeform which is a handy tool. Once you’ve placed a bet on any UK or Irish race, you can live stream it with pictures and commentary taken directly from Racing TV or Sky Sports Racing in perfect quality.
Back within the race schedule, a click on the ‘tote’ button opens up a new window. Although this is rather annoying, it at least means you can keep your main page open in the background while viewing tote prices. There are drop-down boxes to change course or race and you can take part in the placepot, quadpot, win, place, exacta, swinger and trifecta markets within the totepool.
All races are easy to browse through, there are plenty of markets to choose from, best odds are guaranteed, horse betting odds are more than fair and you can watch the races live so all in all Betfair’s horse racing markets are top notch and cannot be recommended highly enough.
Other Betting Markets
Within the sportsbook you’ll see quick links across the top of the page for the main sports; football, horse racing, tennis, greyhounds, rugby, cricket and golf. To the left of that however you’ll find an option to see all available sports and events, the rest being:
American football, Aussie rules, badminton, bandy, baseball, basketball, bowls, boxing, current affairs, cycling, darts, eSports, floorball, Gaelic games, handball, ice hockey, MMA, motor sport, netball, politics, snooker, specials, table tennis, volleyball and winter sports.
This is a hefty list and generally speaking there are a good number of markets available, especially on the major worldwide sports. Promos are occasionally offered on these markets as well and we’ve found via odds comparisons that prices are fair across the board.
Your welcome bonus and free bets can be used on any of the above which is handy, while both in-play options and cash-out features also apply. A number of the in-play sports are broadcast live via online streaming, always in good quality, while the cash-out system has proven extremely popular on this platform.
At any one time there may be 40, 50 or even 60 live in-play events even on a quiet day with odds updated constantly. Should you wish to cash-out, this can be done very easily with just a small delay and funds will be placed into your account immediately.
Mobile Betting Options & Apps
As with all the best betting mobile experiences, the Betfair horse betting app and mobile site work just the same as betting from your desktop with all major features retained.
You can place bets in any market including in-play, manage your bank with deposits and withdrawals as well as get hold of both new customer and existing player bonuses and promotions.
In terms of the user interface, the interactivity is first class with everything very easily accessible meaning you are less likely to lose your place and have to go back through several pages and screens to find where you were.
Access to odds and markets on every sport is made incredibly simple with live streaming and cash-out made available in the same quality as you’d find on the desktop site.
The mobile site can be accessed and the app can be downloaded on all iOS and Android smartphones and tablets with the familiar black and yellow colour scheme remaining, and while Betfair’s identity divides punters we think it gives a slick and clean look which further enhances the firm’s professional reputation.
Via the app and mobile site, you can get quick access to tons of sporting tips and previews from third parties and in-house reviewers, entitling you to proper unbiased betting advice. This is done genuinely as punters can use this information and bet against each other the exchange if preferred.
Betfair’s banking options sit on the fair to middling side of things where UK betting firms are concerned; there are plenty of options for you with no fees attached to any of them, though some sites offer even more so as to not miss a single player. The full list is:
|Method||Deposit Time||Min Deposit||Max Deposit||Withdrawal Time||Min Withdrawal||Max Withdrawal|
|Visa/MasterCard debit cards||Instant||£5||£20,000||2-5 days||£1||£20,000|
|Visa/MasterCard credit cards||Instant||£5||£20,000||2-5 days||£1||£20,000|
|Neteller||Instant||£12||£32,500||Within 24 hours||£2||£37,500|
|Skrill||Instant||£10||£32,500||Within 24 hours||£1||£25,000|
|PayPal||Instant||£5||£6,000||Within 24 hours||£1||£5,500|
|BankWire||2-5 days||£10||£100,000||3-5 days||£10||£100,000|
|Cheque||7-10 days||£10||£50,000||Next day||£10||£50,000|
First things first; finding where to go to get help from Betfair away from social media is not made as easy as it should be. We’d like to see an email option or even better, a live chat function, right on the main page to make access to help much quicker.
The ‘contact us’ section, much like with partner Paddy Power, brings up only a list of pre-written help pages and FAQ’s and does not given an option for punters to speak directly to a representative.
You can call Betfair on 0344 871 0000 with access to help given pretty quickly and always by a well-informed staff member, though the firm seem intent on asking players to contact them via social media – not always the best option when you want to keep your questions private and out of public view. This is simply a tactic for the firm to help their marketing along free of charge.
Having gone through various pages and read plenty of unhelpful support pages, you will finally get to a live chat option placed strangely within the responsible gambling section of the site.
Responses to live chat are pretty good, but as with some other firms we’d like to see this permanently on the home page to make the company appear much more receptive to chatting with new and existing players.
Betfair Company Details
When the company was started back in 2000, it was managed and controlled simply by founders Andrew Black and Edward Wray until investment came in 2006 with Softbank buying 23% of Betfair. By this stage the company was already worth £1.5billion having done their bit to revolutionise the way people gamble in the UK, giving them a chance to be the bookmaker for a change.
Betfair went on to buy horse racing publishing entity Timeform, hence the Timeform tips and previews on the horse racing betting pages, before going on to purchase the US’s biggest TV and wagering horse racing firm TVG for $50million.
Fixed-odds betting (the sportsbook) was launched in 2012 and at the start of 2016 Betfair was finally merged with Paddy Power, creating Paddy Power Betfair and becoming one of the biggest bookmakers anywhere in the world and one with a sterling reputation among punters as well as reviewers.
Betfair Bottom Line
Although we would like to see more instant access granted to customer service teams, especially via live chat, there is not much to dislike about Betfair overall and especially as a horse racing punter.
Markets are plentiful, odds are good, promotions are genuine and valuable and the new customer bonus of 200% up to £100 is rock solid in this marketplace.
The technology is great with live streaming and slick websites and apps available for all and the bottom line is that Betfair is definitely recommended as a place to get your horse racing bets on.