Top highlights: An impressive choice of both betting markets and promotions; lots to keep users occupied besides sports betting
VIP or loyalty programme: No
Other offerings: Casino, poker, exchange games, arcade, Vegas slots, Macau, bingo
Betfair has established itself as one of the biggest names in online gambling, having been a frontrunner in this space at a time when Internet access wasn't quite ubiquitous. The company was founded in June 2000 and is headquartered in London.
Visit the Betfair website today and you can see a broad portfolio of gambling services - especially notably, a peer-to-peer exchange platform that revolutionised online betting by allowing odds to be defined and selected. So, what is the sports betting like today?
As you would expect from a site with Betfair's long and proud history, the promotions - even just for sports bettors - are generous. There are plenty of free bets to gather if you are a fan of football, for which you can also get appealing odds.
In perusing the choice of promotions offered on the Betfair site, we saw that enthusiasts for horse racing, cricket, rugby and tennis were also catered to. However, you should remember that promotions are subject to change, as they are on other sites.
There are more than 30 sports from which you can choose on the Betfair website. Many of those sports are unsurprising; naturally, you can expect opportunities to be abundant in football, golf, boxing, cycling, tennis, snooker and cricket.
However, there are some more surprising choices in the list too, including:
We checked out the site just as the 2018 Winter Olympics were about to begin - and we were impressed to see Betfair dedicate a section of its site to the Games. This indicates the site's willingness to update and refresh its sports selection in response to what is 'current'.
From the main sports page, it isn't hard to find the in-play options; just scroll slightly downwards and click the green button labelled 'In-Play Now'. We did exactly that and saw that dozens of tennis matches were happening live and waiting for bets.
The selection of live football games was the next nearest in number - and tennis, volleyball, snooker and basketball were also represented among the live offerings. Betfair also lets users watch matches live through streaming - even on the mobile app.
What mobile app? The one that is dedicated to sports betting and available on both the iOS and Android platforms. The betting markets available through this app include football, tennis and horse racing, for which you can receive notifications after you have placed bets.
The Betfair site uses distinctive orange-and-black branding that also runs through its sports betting app. Neither the site nor app are difficult to use; in fact, there's a wonderful smoothness to the experience of clicking or tapping through the options on either.
For the hassle-free on-site experience, we can be thankful for Betfair's partnership with Geneity Limited, the sportsbook software subsidiary of renowned gambling software purveyor Playtech. This team-up has led to graphics that compare favourably with those of other leading sports booking sites.
The mobile app for Betfair sports betting is pretty full-featured; we found that various enticing options, including a welcome offer and daily promotions, were available through the app. It's available on the iOS and Android platforms.
Betfair clearly lavishes a lot of attention on this free-to-download app; it is highly rated by its users, while the iOS version has even recently been updated to support the iPhone X's Face ID face recognition system. Logging into your account via the app can, therefore, be utterly frictionless.
Betfair runs VIP schemes for various parts of its site - including the poker, casino and bingo sections. Nonetheless, it has not yet given its sports bettors a similarly enticing option of being rewarded for their loyalty, leaving a gap in the site's coverage.
If you like to try a broad range of gambling options rather than specialise too strongly in any specific one, visiting Betfair could leave you feeling like you have died and gone to online gambling heaven. So, just how big is the choice here?
Well, there's an especially broad serving of games, including exchange, poker and casino offerings. Other options that we haven't widely seen on competing sites include arcade games and another section with the theme of Macau, the Chinese gambling hub that has been described as the 'Las Vegas of Asia'.
We can't help but be impressed with the large range of deposit method options:
|Payment Method||Fee||Processing Time||Minimum Deposit|
|Mastercard Credit Card||None||Instant||£5|
|Mastercard Debit Card||None||Instant||£5|
|Maestro Debit Card||None||Instant||£5|
|Visa Credit Card||None||Instant||£5|
|Visa Debit Card||None||Instant||£5|
|Visa Electron Debit Card||None||Instant||£5|
|Bank Transfer||None||2-5 working days||£10|
*Current as of February 2018; please check Betfair’s website for updates
You can withdraw money using one of the following in a broad range of methods:
|Withdrawal Method||Fee||Processing Time||Minimum Withdrawal|
|Mastercard Credit Card||None||2-5 working days|
|Mastercard Debit Card||None||2-5 working days|
|Maestro Debit Card||None||2-5 working days|
|Visa Credit Card||None||2-5 working days|
|Visa Debit Card||None||2-5 working days|
|Visa Electron Debit Card||None||2-5 working days|
|UK Express Bank Transfer||None||1 working day||£10|
|UK Standard Bank Transfer||None||2-3 working days||£10|
|Cheque||None||1 working day||£10|
*Current as of February 2018; please check Betfair’s website for updates
Curiously, Betfair doesn't openly advertise an email address for customer support services on its site. In fact, the page of contact details is rather strangely tucked away in the Betfair Help Centre; however, you can see a telephone number and a link to a live chat facility there.
Betfair says that, typically, it can respond to over-the-phone questions in just 30 seconds; indeed, English-speaking brokers are ready to take those questions at any time of the day or week. On the same page, Betfair provides a link to its customer support account on Twitter.
It is not legally permitted to make a Betfair account or place bets with this bookie from any of the following territories:
Democratic Republic of the Congo
For Betfair's UK-based customers, that country's Gambling Commission licenses and regulates the site's Malta-headquartered owner, PPB Counterparty Services Limited.
The Gambling Commission also licenses and regulates PPB Entertainment Limited, which is also in Malta and provides Betfair's virtual sports for UK users.
Betfair has a breadth of services that reflects the site's status as one of the leading lights in online gambling. Even if you narrow your attention to just the sports betting options, you could easily see the opportunities capable of holding your attention for a long time to come.
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New customer offer, place a single Sportsbook bet of £/€10 at odds 1.2 (1/5) or more to get £/€30 in free bets. Deposits using credit/debit cards only. Valid for 30 days. Free bet stakes not returned with winnings. £/€10 Exchange bet will be awarded within 24 hours after your qualifying sports bet has been settled.