Betfair UK Review
With millions of customers, Betfair is one of the biggest betting companies in the world.
Previously just offering the Betfair betting exchange when it was first set up, Betfair now has its own sportsbook as well as offering a range of other games such as bingo, poker and live casino options.
For those considering joining, this is our complete review of Betfair for players from the UK.
Betfair: A Brief History
It was in June 2000 when Betfair was founded, so the company has more than 20 years of experience in the online gambling industry, making it somewhat of a veteran of the sector.
Andrew Black and Edward Wray set up the company and just a couple of years later the duo was sharing the Ernst & Young emerging entrepreneur of the year award due to their success.
Betfair was a hit from the start, giving players a chance to get more value out of their wagers by betting against each other, rather than a traditional bookmaker who retains their own margin.
After a few years, Softbank purchased a 23% stake in Betfair, which gave the company a stunning valuation of £1.5 billion. This helped to announce Betfair as a global force.
By now, Betfair was already something of a household name, having become the first betting company to be a shirt sponsor for an English football team - West London-based side Fulham.
Betfair launched its own sportsbook in 2012 as part of a diversification of its offering, a move that continues to this day as the company continues to offer more types of betting products.
As a powerhouse of the industry, Betfair was attracting a lot of takeover talk and following a lengthy period of speculation, Paddy Power and Betfair agreed on terms for a merger.
The deal went through in February 2016 but it would not be too long until there was another big change of ownership at the company.
Acquisition of The Stars Group - which runs a range of betting sites such as PokerStars - led to a rebrand as Flutter Entertainment, which instantly became one of the world's biggest gambling companies.
As well as Betfair, Flutter owns brands including FanDuel, Full Tilt Poker, Sky Bet, Sportsbet.com.au and TVG Network.
Although for the first decade of the company's existence Betfair only ran an exchange, the company now has a range of betting products that users can access through their accounts.
Among the top Betfair products that can be used on the company's website and apps are:
- Live casino
Next up in our complete guide to Betfair from players, we will review each product.
Betfair Sportbook Review
While for most people the Betfair exchange is still the prime reason to sign up for an account on the site, the sportsbook has been a popular addition since its arrival back in 2012. Not everyone wants to use a betting exchange, with the Betfair sportsbook offering a simpler experience.
The most popular sports to bet on at Betfair feature at the top of the page, making it easy to navigate to the latest markets for football, horse racing, golf, greyhound racing and cricket, as well as American football, basketball and tennis. Live markets are also presented in a prominent position to make it as fast as possible to place a wager on the action that is ongoing right now.
There are around 25 different sports to bet on at Betfair, so most people will find what they are looking for at this site. Current affairs and political bets can also be found on the sportsbook, while Betfair is among the gambling companies now allowing users to bet on esports.
In terms of the markets offered, the depth at Betfair is absolutely fantastic and ranks this betting company at the top of the tree. In football, for example, the typical Premier League match at Betfair will have countless bets to pick from - and the same is true in-play as well.
Odds on the Betfair sportsbook are typically solid and it only takes a couple of clicks to compare the prices to those offered on the exchange.
Cash-out is available on the Betfair sportsbook, so it is possible to lock in a profit while the action is ongoing. This is a standard offering at most betting websites these days, but the cash-out feature at Betfair certainly works well compared to the competition. Partial cash out is also offered for those who want to take a proportion of the profit while letting the rest of the bet ride.
Live streaming is one of the key selling points of the Betfair sportsbook. A massive amount of horse racing and greyhound racing is available to those who have a Betfair account, while there is plenty of global tennis and football to pick from on the site as well. Streaming games while betting live works well at Betfair, so those who like in-play gambling will appreciate this option.
Betfair Live Video is currently free of charge, but in some cases account holders will have to place a bet on the event they want to watch in order to be able to access the live stream.
Mobile betting is big business for the industry nowadays and Betfair has always been at the forefront of the industry in this regard. Not only does the Betfair mobile website work smoothly and provide a seamless betting experience while on the move, but there are also betting apps available to download on to iOS and Android devices too. We will have more on the Betfair apps later.
Betfair Casino Review
Betfair might primarily be known as a sports betting company, but its online casino is an increasingly tempting option for people who have an account on the site. Users can log in to the Betfair casino with the same account details that they use to bet on the sportsbook and the exchange, so switching between the products could not be easier.
Both classic and next-generation casino games are available at the Betfair casino, ensuring there should be something for everyone. All in all, there are hundreds of games to pick from across categories such as slots, poker, table games and the Betfair live casino. Betfair was faster to launch an online casino than a lot of its British and Irish rivals in the betting industry and the vast experience the operator really shines through when using this site, which has a number of exclusive games, including the horse racing-themed Ruby Walsh's Champion Gold.
Most of the top slot games on the planet can be found on the Betfair casino, with names like Gonzo's Quest, Book of Dead and Starburst all positioned so they can be easily found. A special section for new games is handy too, giving Betfair account holders a simple way to find the latest titles that have been added to the library, which is updated on a regular basis.
The Betfair casino used to mostly feature Playtech games, but this is no longer the case. When logging in, users will be able to find titles from a wide range of casino game developers including Pragmatic Play, Big Time Gaming, NetEnt and Play'n GO. Megaways slots have their own page on the Betfair casino and it is easy to find the best jackpot slots on the site too. Those seeking the largest possible wins have plenty of choice on this site and there is even the opportunity to take part in slots tournaments at the Betfair casino as well.
Betfair Live Casino Review
As well as the Betfair casino, account holders can head to the live casino for a slightly different experience, with a good selection of games offered by the operator.
Betfair Live Casino is fully accessible on desktop and mobile and the site runs around the clock too, so whatever the time is it is possible to log in and have a bet on this section of the site.
Classic live card games will be a popular choice for many account holders at Betfair, with plenty of blackjack and baccarat games to pick from at the Betfair Live Casino.
Additionally, modern alternatives like Crazy Time are likely to find an audience, while there are games at the Betfair Live Casino based on Monopoly, Mega Ball and Dream Catcher too.
Age of the Gods Bonus Roulette is one of the best games to pick at the Betfair Live Casino, which offers the chance to bet with both very low and very high stakes. This means the live casino at the site is a good choice for both newcomers and high rollers alike.
HD video streaming works smoothly at the Betfair Live Casino and playing the range of games offered is a very enjoyable experience on the site.
Betfair Games Review
Most sites would be content with a casino, a sportsbook, an exchange and a live casino, but Betfair has its sights set higher. As a result, even more, casino games are available on the site.
Head to the Exchange Games tab on Betfair and users will be able to find even more types of casino games, with baccarat and blackjack likely to be among the popular options.
The only criticism to make here is that the choice of games is quite limited when compared to the massive array of slots on offer in the Betfair casino.
One of the main reasons to use the Exchange Games section on Betfair is the fact that it has its own loyalty rewards.
Betfair is known in the industry for looking after customers with excellent bonuses and promotions and this can certainly be seen in its games offering on the site.
Betfair has even provided a section where account holders can read in-depth about the variety of game strategies that could be used to boost a player's chances of winning on various titles.
Basic poker games can be found in the Exchange Games section on Betfair but the site is also home to a poker room, so let's take a detailed look at that in the next part of our full review.
Betfair Poker Review
Poker is probably not the first thing people think about when they hear the name Betfair. While most poker fans typically play on dedicated sites to the sport, the Betfair poker room will certainly have enough to meet the needs of more casual players.
New Betfair Poker needs to be downloaded in order to play at the Betfair poker room, which like other departments of the site has its own suite of special promotions and offers to use. For every £1 spent at the tables by poker players on the site, Betfair Poker Loyalty Club members earn 25 Status Points. At the 1,250 Status Point threshold, it is then possible to cash them in for a range of special prizes.
Playing poker at Betfair works well but it is a shame software has to be downloaded as this makes the process less seamless for those switching over from the sportsbook or exchange.
At many of the other big betting brands that act as the top competition for Betfair in the UK and Ireland, the poker room is integrated better, so this could be something to improve in future. However, for some people, it might be preferable to be able to keep poker and betting separately.
As with the games section, Betfair has produced guides on poker that are very useful reading for anyone who is either new to the game or who is just looking to brush up their skills by using more advanced strategies whenever they take a seat at the table for a poker tournament.
Betfair Bingo Review
Some customers might be surprised to learn that poker is offered at Betfair and even more eyebrows are likely to be raised by the presence of an online bingo hall at the site as well.
But Betfair's bingo offering ticks a lot of boxes, with a great range of choice for those who want to play this gambling game through the internet.
There are bingo games based on the Age of the Gods slot game and Deal or No Deal that can be picked on the Betfair bingo site, as well as more standard variations of the popular game.
Again, special Betfair bingo promotions are offered in a bid to persuade people with accounts on the site to give these games a go, as well as to come back and play them again and again.
Slingo games and scratch cards can also be found on the Betfair bingo tab on this comprehensive betting website, helping to make sure there is something for everyone here.
Players can use the heart symbol on the site to favourite games and make it easier to find them the next time they come back to play, which is a very user-friendly touch to be included on the site. This is just one of the many things that show how much Betfair thinks about its users.
Betfair Betting Apps
Betfair has always tried to make the most of the latest technology, so it should not come as a surprise to see Betfair's apps are some of the best in the business right now.
But let's start with the mobile-optimised site, which provides the seamless betting experience that customers will be used to from the Betfair brand. All the same options, markets and bets are available on mobile and it is quick and simple to bet in-play and access live streams too.
Betting apps are becoming more popular, though, as people try to streamline the process. This is certainly possible with Betfair due to the fact there are a large number of apps offered.
Some rivals try to put all their products in the same apps, which can make them a bit cluttered and hard to navigate. But Betfair has taken another approach, instead opting to create a range of Betfair apps that people can choose to download onto their iOS or Android devices.
There are so many options that the Betfair App Directory can actually be a bit overwhelming at first. Many of them focus on trading, so will only be of interest to heavy users of the exchange.
Betfair's own apps include a dedicated app for the exchange, which can be found on both the App Store for iOS and the Play Store for Android. Betfair Sports Betting is the app to look for, again on the App Store and the Play Store, for those who do not need to use the exchange.
Betfair Security and Regulation
Many sports fans will want to feel assured their chosen betting site hits the highest standards when it comes to security and regulation. The good news is that Betfair is top-notch in this department, with a lot of work going into ensuring the best possible security is in place.
Betfair's 2-Step Authentication helps users to protect their own accounts, while SSL/TLS technology is also in place to ensure that all data held by Betfair is kept safe and secure.
Additionally, Betfair is ISO27001 certified, which is the global standard for information security management, so this is a big tick in the box for this gambling giant as well.
Betfair is also PCI certified, which means that the company is checked on an annual basis by an external and independent PCI Qualified Security Assessor.
On the regulation side, Betfair holds licenses from the Gambling Commission in the UK, as well as with a range of regulatory authorities from around the world.
These include Spelinspektionen in Sweden, the Danish Gambling Authority, the Malta Gaming Authority and Spain's Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego.