Founded in 2000, Betfair is a well-known and unique UK bookmaker. Betfair launched in Australia in 2005 and in this Betfair review, we’ll give you the lowdown on everything Betfair offers for Aussie players.
Specifically, we will assess the key areas of the Betfair sportsbook and explain exactly how it stacks up compared to the other sports betting sites on the market.
Not only will we look at the sports betting markets, odds and special betting features at Betfair, but we will also look at the vital support areas of this operator’s provision in this bookmaker review.
This includes the payment methods available to players, customer support options and whether there is a Betfair mobile app you can use. It’s all designed to give you the perfect overview of everything Betfair offers.
Pros and cons
- Unique betting platform
- Better odds
- Live streams
- No live chat
- Not for beginners
- No promotions
How we rate?
Our main score is the Expert Rating, which ranks sportsbooks on over 60 criteria in seven different sections, including sports and markets, odds, safety, usability, and more.
What is our Playscore?
The Playscore represents the average rating according to top critic sites for a given betting operator.
|Company behind||Crown Resorts Ltd|
This review is based on the operator’s current sports offer in Australia.
Sports events and markets at Betfair: A unique approach
Once you have created your Betfair account, the first thing you will want to do when you visit the Betfair website is to check out whether there is a Betfair sign up bonus (there isn’t) and its sports betting markets.
Betfair is the only licensed betting exchange in Australia. This means that Betfair offers users the ability to set the odds for each bet, and other users choose to take up those odds, or bet against them. This is known as either backing the bet, or laying against it.
In terms of the specific sports available at Betfair Australia, there are currently 24 different sports you can bet on. These include popular options such as cricket, soccer and horse racing, plus some minor sports including volleyball, handball and snooker.
Sport events facts
|Total number of sports to bet on||25|
|Top market||Horse racing|
|Unique markets||eSports, politics, specials|
|Top events||Super Bowl, NBA, Maori All Stars, Six Nations|
Despite being a different type of bookmaker, our Betfair review found the sports markets at Betfair to be broadly the same as you would find at traditional betting sites. So expect to find moneylines, spreads, totals, handicaps, props and a range of futures markets.
Sports and markets rating
- The only exchange-style betting site in Australia
- Excellent coverage of Australian sports
- Superb Australian racing coverage
- Poor liquidity may make it hard to place some bets
- No esports markets
Comparing Betfair to other sportsbooks is slightly tricky. After all, this is the only site in Australia that allows exchange betting where you bet against other players, rather than the bookmaker itself. So, whilst it is easy to compare areas such as the Betfair withdrawal time or the support options that Betfair offers with other operators, comparing the markets is not quite so straightforward.
That being said, I did have great fun exploring the markets at Betfair, hence my relatively high score. Effectively, the backing and laying of bets means you have double the options you would find at most other online sports betting sites (apart from other betting exchanges), as you can bet on or against each selection. Not even industry giants like Bet365 can offer that!
Where Betfair falls slightly short is in the total number of sports available to bet on. While 24 is a good amount, it still falls short of the likes of 888Sport, which has well over 30 sports on its site.
Additional market details: Horse racing is the stand-out option at Betfair. The operator is widely regarded as being the best site for horse racing betting in Australia. Not only does Betfair allow you to either back or lay bets on each horse, but it also does this for a huge range of race meetings taking place all over the world every single day.
Additional market details: Like most countries in the world, soccer is hugely popular in Australia. So it is no surprise that Betfair has a big focus on the sport. Players can look for better odds than those at a traditional bookie on a range of leagues and competitions from Australia and other overseas markets, and many games have well over 100 markets attached to them.
Betting features at Betfair: Limited in number
As you are betting against other players, you will not find any specific Betfair offer or Betfair promotion. You will also struggle to find some of the common betting features associated with many other sportsbooks.
For example, you will not find any single game bet builders or cashout options, nor will you see any multi betting Betfair insurance offers, deposit bonuses or enhanced odds on major events.
However, there are some quirky features that closely resemble traditional sportsbook betting features. Cashouts do not exist as such, but because there are live betting markets, you can elect to ‘trade out’ of your bet and lock in a profit.
Betting features facts
|Other bets||Novelty bets – reality TV, elections, awards ceremonies|
One betting feature that Betfair does have is the ability to watch and bet on live events. On the website, you will find an excellent range of Betfair Australian racing streams and live markets, enabling you to place bets whilst a race is running.
Betting features rating
- Live streams
- Live backing and laying of bets available
- No bet builders
- No bonuses or promo codes
This is another tough category to assess. On the one hand, the whole exchange concept can be classified as a betting feature. It certainly marks Betfair out as a completely unique option for sports fans. I mean, it’s not as if PlayUp allows you to lay your bets!
On the other hand, like many sports bettors, I enjoy trying out a range of betting features. Hence, why I am such a big fan of Ladbrokes and its range of bet builders, cashouts and more. Therefore, not being able to benefit from any Betfair offer, promotion or many betting features came as a big disappointment and I docked some points here.
It’s not a total disaster though. You can still watch live streams and place live bets. Indeed, I found live trading to be a highly interesting concept to try and understand. I just wish there had been more features to discover.
Additional features: One aspect of a betting exchange that can impact your choices is liquidity. This is the amount of money available for the selection you wish to place. In order for your bet to be taken, there needs to be enough liquidity to cover your potential winnings. The liquidity available for your selection at your desired odds is displayed underneath the odds for each market.
Betfair odds: Great odds for major sports
Whilst most betting sites give you specific fixed odds for a selection, the Betfair betting exchange allows punters to set their own and, therefore, Betfair offers different odds options for each market. Basically, if a fellow player is willing to take your choice at your preferred odds, then you can place the bet.
This means that Betfair regularly allows you to find bets at odds higher than what you would find at traditional bookmakers. On the flip side, there will also be markets in which you cannot find sufficient liquidity at your desired odds.
When it comes to selecting odds for laying bets, you need to have enough funds in your Betfair account to cover the eventuality that your lay bet loses. When you make your lay selection, the Betfair website tells you how much liquidity is needed to cover a loss and pay out your betting partner’s winning bet.
Betting odds facts
|In play betting payout||N/A|
Since 2016, Betfair has offered the Betfair Starting Price feature for horse, greyhound and harness races. Similar to the standard tote, the Betfair Starting Price matches up the odds offered for back and lay bets on the betting exchange as a race is starting and gives punters the best odds.
- Better value odds than most traditional bookmaker sites
- Select your own odds for your bet
- Some odds have insufficient liquidity
It certainly appears that Betfair members are often willing to offer odds with a better value than a traditional bookmaker. Indeed, I was impressed that in many cases, Betfair odds were around 2-3% better than those of William Hill, which is generally regarded as one of the best operators in terms of odds quality.
The only drawback to the Betfair global exchange system is that if you wish to bet on minor events, you will often find there is not enough marketplace liquidity for your chosen bet to be taken. Not a problem that you’ll have at traditional sites such as zBet.
Overall, I had a great time looking at the Betfair odds and this is reflected in the excellent score I gave this site. The challenge of finding preferential betting odds for markets and matching wits with other Betfair members is a hugely enjoyable one.
Betfair review: Payment methods
Having a range of reliable, fee-free, fast payment methods is a key part of an online sportsbook’s provision. Betfair offers players the choice of 8 different options for making deposits to their accounts.
Many of these options, such as Visa, PayPal and MasterCard, deposit your funds instantly. However, payment methods such as bank transfer and Osko can take 12 hours or more to appear in your account.
The four accepted withdrawal options are Skrill, Neteller, bank transfer and PayPal. Again, processing times can vary, but in all cases, you can expect to receive your funds for winning bets in 1-3 working days.
|Total number of payment methods||8|
|Average deposit time||Instant|
|Average withdrawal time||5 – 24 hours|
|Average deposit fees||No fees|
|Average withdrawal fees||No fees|
No fees are charged for any of the payment options at Betfair. There are no maximum deposit or withdrawal amounts specified on the Betfair app or website. However, the operator may impose limits on individual accounts. If you are unsure whether you have a deposit or withdrawal limit place on your account, you are advised to contact the support agents for Betfair Australia for more information.
- Eight different deposit methods
- Instant deposits and fast withdrawal times
- Limited number of withdrawal options
- Minimum deposit limit of $30 with some methods
I must say that, initially, I was very satisfied to see Betfair offer 8 payment options. But on looking closer, I was a bit disappointed to see that the withdrawal options are rather limited. And that’s the main reason for my low, good score.
However, you do still have four methods open to you, which is a 100% better than operators like NEDs, which only offers you two withdrawal methods. Additionally, while it was nice to see a low minimum deposit limit of $5, I would have liked to see more information regarding maximum withdrawal limits, so I knocked off a point or two here as well.
However, no Betfair charges for any payment method was a plus point for the operator and put it in line with other sportsbooks like BBet. Similarly, the withdrawal times are broadly in line with industry averages, so no nasty surprises there. Overall, I was reasonably satisfied with the payment options at Betfair and I did not encounter any problems funding my account.
Safety features at Betfair: Fully licensed exchange
Online safety and security should be your number one consideration when betting online. Most importantly, you need to ensure that the sportsbook you are using is completely legitimate and fully licensed.
Betfair has been licensed in Australia since 2005 by the Northern Territory Racing Commission. To acquire and maintain this licence, Betfair has to demonstrate that it offers a fair and trustworthy betting provision.
To protect your personal and financial data when using Betfair, the brand uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. In addition, Betfair software is regularly checked to ensure there are no security vulnerabilities.
|Seals of Trust||N/A|
|Responsible Gambling||Gambling help online, Relationships Australia, Gambling Therapy, Gamblers Anonymous Australia|
|Licenses||Northern Territory Racing Commission|
|Self-imposed spending limits||Available|
|Cooling off period||Available|
The Betfair website contains a number of responsible gambling tools to help you stay in control of your betting activity. This includes a range of articles, contact details and the ability to set deposit limits and self-exclusion periods on your account.
- Fully licenced betting exchange
- Full range of responsible gambling tools
- No security issues
- Average SSL encryption
Simplicity is essentially what I am looking for when scoring the security of an online sportsbook. That is why I love the security features at Paddy Power. And Betfair also passes the test in that regard, despite the unique nature of its betting operation.
I was slightly dubious about how Betfair could provide a fully secure betting service, when you are effectively gambling against other players. But the operator manages to achieve this with ease. In fact, I felt equally as secure playing at Betfair, as I do when using Betstar or other traditional bookmakers.
The responsible gaming tools are in-depth and easy to use, meaning that all players can set limits to ensure they do not run into any problems when using the Betfair exchange. Overall, this is a solid category for Betfair, there’s just nothing above and beyond that would justify a higher score.
Customer services at Betfair: 24/7 email and phone support
Given that Betfair operates as an exchange platform, many players are likely to want additional information on backing and laying bets. You can currently get this information by contacting Betfair via email or phone.
Both of these services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and most queries are answered rapidly and knowledgeably. At present, Betfair Australia does not have a live chat service for customers.
The Betfair mobile app and website also have in-depth FAQ sections. Here you can find detailed explanations of the betting exchange system, as well as answers to many other common queries.
|Customer support availability||24/7|
|Contact no.||1300 238 324|
|On-page support||FAQs and How to videos|
To further assist players, Betfair also has a series of How To videos. These videos use screenshots and commentaries to explain how back and lay betting works, plus how you can use the Betfair exchange.
- Extensive FAQs
- How To videos
- 24/7 telephone and email support
- No live chat
Clearly, the lack of a live chat service is a glaring omission in this area and it did mean that I gave Betfair a low rating compared to operators such as Unibet, which does offer the service. No matter how good the other customer support sections are at Betfair, I found it impossible to overlook this problem.
That being said, the other support options are all of an excellent standard, so I have not marked the site too harshly. Both the telephone and email support services are professional, rapid and available throughout the day. The How To videos are also extremely helpful, especially given the unorthodox nature of the Betfair exchange. Not even Bet Nation has such a thorough FAQ section.
If you were to discount the lack of live chat, then this would be a perfectly good section for Betfair. Given the quality of those services and the FAQ articles/videos, you should have no problem finding out all you need to know about the Betfair exchange.
Using the Betfair app and website
Finding your way around the Betfair exchange can be done via the menu at the top of the page. This menu lists the most popular major sports. If the sport you require is not listed, there is a full A-Z of the sports available on the left-hand menu.
Clicking on a sport brings up the events available. When you get to the one you are looking for, the markets are displayed and will show the most popular current price for backing and laying on the different options. There are also other prices shown, should you wish to opt for something higher or lower than the most popular price.
Underneath all the prices, you can see the current liquidity available for the bet. When you make a lay selection, your bet slip will tell you how high your liability is.
|Load speed||1.1 sec|
The Betfair app provides all the same betting options and features as the full website. It is available to download from both the Apple and Google Play stores. The Betfair website is also fully optimized for mobile play via browsers.
Play on devices
- Easy navigation
- Clear betting options
- Bright and clear design
- Simple sign up procedure
I approached this section with a degree of trepidation. I was unsure how Betfair could design a website or app that made the process of backing and laying bets appear user-friendly. To my immense pleasure, Betfair has comfortably exceeded my expectations.
For a start, the navigation of the site is extremely simple. I had no problems locating the markets I required. And when I got to the markets, the options were laid out in a very intuitive manner in a similar way to Dabble.
Having the marketplace liquidity volume displayed is a nice touch, as it lets you know how popular each selection is and how the market is trending. The Betfair hub is a fantastic betting platform and ticks all the right boxes when it comes to achieving a high rating. In fact, Betfair is far superior to Crossbet, with its muddled layout that is confusing at times.
The first thing you need to know about Betfair Australia is that using the site will open you up to a host of new betting terms. It can seem a little intimidating at first, as betting exchanges are somewhat different to fixed odds betting sites, but it really is worth persevering.
That is because Betfair has made the whole process of exchange betting very easy to get to grips with. In no time at all, you should be backing and laying bets with the same ease as if you were using a traditional bookmaker.
The main downside is that being a betting exchange means there are no Betfair promotions and several other more traditional betting features are missing. You will not find any Betfair bonus codes to use, and there is no multi betting on Betfair, for instance. But try not to let that put you off.
Overall, this is a high-quality betting option for Australian sports fans and we can highly recommend joining Betfair. It is especially fun for players who are looking for something a little bit different from their usual sports betting experience.
Is Betfair trusted?
Yes. Betfair is the only fully licenced and legitimate betting exchange in Australia. It is licenced by the NTRC. This means it has demonstrated the ability to maintain a completely fair betting provision. In addition, the Betfair site is encrypted with SSL technology. This protects your username, password and any other data you provide from hackers, thus preserving the security of your personal and financial information.
How fast is Betfair withdrawal?
There are four ways to withdraw your funds from your Betfair betting exchange account. If you opt to withdraw via bank transfer, your funds will be with you in 1-3 working days. The three other accepted withdrawal methods are Skrill, Neteller and PayPal. All of these methods are processed within 24 hours. There are no fees attached to any of the four withdrawal methods.
Can you win laying on Betfair?
Yes. Laying a bet involves betting against an outcome. For instance, if you are betting on a soccer match between Liverpool and Everton, a lay bet on Everton would be betting against an Everton victory. A draw or a Liverpool win would see you win the bet, but an Everton win would leave you liable for the winning bettor’s profit. So whilst it is possible to win whilst laying, you do need to have enough funds to cover any losses.
What is the minimum deposit on Betfair?
That depends upon your chosen method. The lowest amount you can deposit is $5, but this is only available via POLi. If you use Visa or MasterCard, the minimum amount is $10. PayPal and Skrill require a $15 minimum deposit, and the figure is $25 for Neteller. The highest minimum amount is $30, if you are using PayID, Osko, BPAY or bank transfer.
Who owns Betfair Australia?
Betfair was originally founded in the UK in 2000. In the UK and other countries, it operates as a betting exchange, sportsbook and online casino. The operator began trading in the Australian market in 2005, as the country’s only betting exchange. Betfair Australia has been fully owned by Crown Resorts Ltd since 2014. Crown Resorts are one of Australia’s largest gaming and entertainment groups.