Betfair is the world largest betting exchange, they differ from standard bookmakers because as well as betting on events, individuals can also lay odds ( ie they can become the bookmaker).
Betfair users bet against each other, and not against bookie prices. This means that on average you can get 20% higher odds than regular bookmakers. You can bet right up to the final whistle.
A betting exchange is a bookie which uses technology and the market to make sure the customer gets a better price since we do not need to build an extra margin as a safety cushion, unlike a bookie. Betfair have over 2 million
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Betfair is the world’s largest Internet betting exchange. The company is based in Hammersmith in West London, England.
Since Betfair was launched in June 2000 it has become the largest online betting company in the UK and the largest bet exchange in the world. Betfair claim to have over 2,000,000 clients and a turnover in excess of £50m/week.
A betting exchange allows punters (gamblers) to bet at odds set and requested by other punters rather than by a bookmaker. Members can make both ‘Back’ bets (normal bets on a selection to win) and ‘Lay’ bets (bets on the opposite side of the Back, against the selection), thereby eliminating the traditional bookmaker.
Betfair claims that on average the odds available are 15% better than those offered by a fixed-odds bookmaker.
Betfair charges a commission on all winning bets, which is set at 5% of the net winnings for most markets, although according to how much a client wagers on the site, it is possible to reduce the amount of commission paid to as low as 2%. Betfair also impose an extra “Premium Charge” which attempts to ensure that all gamblers who win consistently pay at least 20% of their total profits in commission or other charges.
The Betfair interface can be seen as bearing a strong similarity to that of the Stock Exchange, with the ‘bet’ and ‘lay’ options comparing to the buying and selling of derivatives. Indeed there are many professionals who play the Betfair market for profit, using purpose-designed software ‘robots’, in much the same way as a Stock market trader.