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Betfair.com.au differs from other bookmakers and totes because it isn’t one. Rather, it is the world’s leading online betting exchange – a revolutionary peer-to-peer platform that allows gamblers to set the odds and bet against one another.
British entrepreneurs Andrew Black and Edward Wary founded Betfair in 2000. By the time the company merged with Paddy Power in 2016, it was one of Europe’s largest online wagering services and boasted more than four million users worldwide.
Now licensed in the Northern Territory, Betfair Australia is the nation’s only online betting exchange. Customers can create and trade wagers for greyhound racing meets in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and Ireland, along with antepost markets for major races everywhere.
The difference between Betfair and a bookmaker is much like the difference between catching an Uber and hailing a taxi. Whereas bookies only offer bets with significant margins that ensure the bottom line is always covered, this is a true P2P exchange where users can frame their own markets and trade directly with other gamblers anonymously.
The Betfair system has several advantages over standard betting services. For one, you can put yourself on the other side of a bet – i.e. you can back a runner to lose. This feature is called lay betting, and you won’t find it at any other wagering company in Australia.
Betfair makes money by taking a small commission for each bet made. Therefore the more you win, the more the betting exchange wins. That is a big plus for punters who are tired of having their betting accounts shut down after a big windfall.
Most of all, the very nature of peer-to-peer trading means the odds are consistently better than what the bookies are offering. To quote the folks at Betfair:
“Unlike bookmakers or totes, we are a buy/sell marketplace where supply meets demand. This means the markets are dynamic, fluid and efficient which results in better value for our customers through better odds at low margins cutting out the middle man.”
Some punters might be put off by the idea of using a betting exchange instead of a traditional bookie. Once you know the basics, however, there is not much to it.
Open an account – There is no great mystery here. Tap one of our links to open the Betfair website, then hit the ‘Sign Up’ button and follow the registration prompts.
Deposit some funds – You cannot bet online until you add some cash to your new account. Popular options include Visa, MasterCard, POLi Instant Banking, BPay and bank transfer.
Find your market – Once are signed in and cashed up, head to the ‘Greyhound Racing’ section in the sports betting menu and browse the available races until you find the races you want to bet on.
Pick your runner – The race view shows a blue column listing the best available back odds and a red column with the best lay odds for each runner, as well as the total pool for every bet. Tap the odds to add a wager to your virtual betting slip.
Set the odds – Now you can adjust both the odds and the stake to your liking. If you are happy with the odds offered in an existing pool, leave the amount as is and simply enter how much you wish to bet.
Confirm the bet – When you are happy with your selections, hit ‘Place Bet’ and wait for the race to begin.
All in all, the process of betting on greyhounds at Betfair is much the same as taking odds with a bookie or a tote. When you set your own prices, however, a few distinct variables come into play.
If you frame your own market for any given race, the bet only pays if there is sufficient money wagered on the opposite outcome. For example: if you bet $10 on a dog to win at +400 odds, there must be enough cash in the lay pool to cover the $50 return.
When the bet is matched, you are good to go. When it isn’t, you can either:
– Change the odds to make them more attractive to potential investors
– Wait and see if anybody matches your bet before the race starts
– Take the Betfair SP odds once the market is in play
– Cancel the bet
Unmatched bets are cancelled by default when none of the above actions are taken. When a bet is partly matched (e.g. you bet $100 and there is only $50 wagered against), the remaining unmatched portion is cancelled automatically.
As is the case with leading online bookmakers, Betfair’s betting interface for PC and Mac is designed with ease of use in mind. Intuitive menus make navigation quick and simple, offering hassle-free access to upcoming greyhound races and antepost betting options. There are also quick links for in-play betting, cash-out options and the Betfair Hub – a wonderful resource filled with walk-throughs, FAQ answers and heaps of useful tips from gambling experts.
The Betfair Exchange also runs dedicated mobile betting apps for Android and Apple iOS devices. These come loaded with all the features you get on the desktop site, but condensed into a convenient package you can access from the home screen of your smartphone or tablet. The Betfair apps are available for free download from the App Store and Google Play.
Customers at Betfair can choose from a number of secure banking options for AUD deposits and withdrawals. These include:
Visa – $10 minimum deposit, no withdrawals – instant processing
MasterCard – $10 minimum deposit, no withdrawals – instant processing
POLi – $5 minimum deposit, no withdrawals – up to three working days
BPAY – $5 minimum deposit, no withdrawals – up to three working days
Bank transfer – $5 minimum deposit, $20 minimum withdrawal – up to three working days
Credit union transfer – $5 minimum deposit, $20 minimum withdrawal – up to five working days
Neteller – $25 minimum deposit, no minimum withdrawal – instant deposits, same-day withdrawals
Skrill – $15 minimum deposit, no minimum withdrawal – instant deposits, same-day withdrawals
Betfair Australia is licensed and regulated by the Northern Territory government. Customers can take advantage of 24/7 service and support in a number of ways:
Email – [email protected]
Telephone betting – 132 238
Help desk – 1300 238 324
SMS support: 0417 849 911
NZ telephone betting – 0800 567 002
NZ help desk: 08 0023 8324