Since Betfair was launched in June 2000 it has become the largest online betting company in the UK and the largest betting exchange in the world. It current size is due to its merger with Paddy Power which was completed in February 2016.
Betfair was responsible for giving ‘exchange betting’ to the world. The ability to both back and lay selections was ground-breaking stuff and it earned the company two Queen’s Awards for Industry. But in 2012, with exchange betting growth slowing, the company added a traditional bookmaking string to its bow and now Betfair has a dual purpose.
In many ways the Betfair exchange can be credited with forcing many of the innovations which have become vital for all bookmakers, such as ‘cash out’ and ‘betting in-play’.
The turnover on football betting via the Betfair exchange is simply colossal, with major organisations and far eastern punters reportedly using it to hedge their positions. Consequently Betfair have really committed to the ‘beautiful game’. In 2015/16 they had partnerships in place with Arsenal, Leicester City, Sunderland, Southampton and Aston Villa. In the summer of 2016 they inked a three-year sponsorship deal with FC Barcelona. Reportedly the Paddy Power / Betfair group now spend £300 million in marketing and sponsorship annually.
Horse racing does receive some of those funds and in 2016, in a headline grabbing sponsorship, Betfair supported Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton’s ambition to become a jockey and ride in the Foxhunter’s Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. She ultimately finished a fast-finishing fifth on Pacha Du Polder.
Betfair’s ‘New Customer Offer’ for their ‘sportsbook’ is a straightforward ‘Bet £10 and get £30 in Free Bets’ concession.
In a very simple process new customers only need to enter the promo code ‘ZSK200’ when making their first deposit and place an initial bet of £10 or more on a selection priced 1/5 (1.20) or greater.
Thereafter, and within 24 hours of your qualifying bet being settled, you will be able to see details of your £30 in free bets within the ‘My Bonuses’ tab. Your free bets must be used within 30 days and can be redeemed against any bet on the Sportsbook (Fixed Odds) market at odds of at least 1/5 (1.20).
Alternatively, if you wish to play the Betfair exchange there is a risk free £20 exchange bet for new customers. It requires a first time exchange bet to be placed for a minimum of £20. If that bet loses Betfair will refund your losses within 72 hours.
Betfair also offers enhanced prices for potential new customers making their first bet. These offers are usually tailored towards major sporting events particularly Premier League and International football.
Free bet offers
Betfair always have a free bet offer or two on the go. The promotions are regularly rotated so they come and go but do grab some of their ‘Horseracing TV Special’ if you can. It gives you a free bet of up to £25 if you find a winner with an SP of just 3/1 or more in terrestrially televised horse races.
The same offer is also in place for greyhound racing and meetings broadcast on Sky Sports. However, for dog racing, your winning / qualifying bet need only have an SP of 2/1 or greater.
NFL punters can avail of Betfair’s ‘Money Back if First TD is a Rushing TD’ offer. This one is pretty easy to understand, although it is only valid for bets placed on first, last or anytime touchdown scorer markets.
And while it does not offer a free bet, the offer of ‘doubling odds on winning goalscorer bets’ promotion is worthy of an honourable mention. The promotion is activated if and when your winning selection goes on to score a second goal.
You can have several payment methods registered with your account and you do not need to withdraw winnings back to the card you made your latest deposit on. In addition to all major credit cards and bank transfers, Betfair also accept Paysafe, Neteller, PayPal and Skrill.
There are some charges involved with some methods, 2.5% with Paysafe and 2.0% with PayPal and minimum deposits vary between £5 and £15. Do consider that customers making their first deposit via Paysafe, Skrill or Neteller will not be eligible for the sign-up bonus.
The Betfair banking area is very easy to use and features some pre-set deposit amounts to give it added simplicity.
Betfair have smashed ‘customer support’ out of the ball park. Simply click the ‘help’ tab at the top of all screens and you will be directed to a ‘help centre’ which offers answers to many common questions. However, it does not insist you undergo this process before making contact with Betfair’s service staff.
By now clicking ‘contact us’ you have instant access to ‘customer support’ conveniently listing the wait time before being attended to. Rarely does ‘Live Chat’ feature a queue of more than 30 seconds and the typical answer time for phone calls is the same. Emails are generally replied to between two and four hours.
There are two other recommended ways of contacting Betfair, they are: Messaging via Facebook and via Twitter at @BetfairCS.
Casino, Bingo & Poker
There is also a £10 Betfair Casino Bonus on offer for new and existing customers (providing you have not played the Casino before). This ‘money for nothing’ offer has a £25 cap on withdrawable winnings but it is a good way to familiarise yourself with Betfair’s Casino.
Thereafter Betfair have two great ‘Welcome Bonuses’ on offer for new customers. A 100% match-up bonus offering an instant £100 in funds for ‘all games’ and a 100% match bonus of up to £1,000 for ‘online slot’ players. And there is another free tenner in a ‘bet £10 get £10 free’ offer for first time ‘live casino’ players.
Beyond the excellent sign-up offers Betfair has a superb offering of games within their Casino using the best of what the major software providers have to offer. It amounts to 45 progressive jackpot slots, more than 40 Blackjack and Roulette tables, 40 Arcade and Video Poker games and 150+ slots.
Betfair have made all their products accessible through mobile devices and they have some excellent Betfair apps. The Betfair Bingo app offers Speed Bingo, 90-ball, 75-ball games as well as Deal or No Deal, Lucky Numbers bingo and many more. If you become a VIP member, you will have the privilege of being invited to special parties. New players also receive an invitation to the Newbie Room.
Generally Poker is not as ‘quick-fire’ as Bingo, it is more of a thinking man’s game. However Betfair do offer the popular three-handed ‘Sit ‘n Go’ poker where the prize you will be playing for will be decided after you spin a ‘twister wheel’, it’s ideal for people on the move.
When you join Betfair Poker you’ll be welcomed with a ‘golden hello’ worth up to £40 as part of Betfair’s 200% multiplier offer. In addition to this promotion all new players at Betfair Poker will receive a total of ten tickets to a variety of single table and multi-table tournaments. Plus all rookie punters receive a £5 casino token and five chances to graduate to the ‘Betfair Big Games’ which are stocked with dozens of tables with tournament prizes worth upwards of £1,000.