Is Betfair Sportsbook Safe?
Placing bets on a reliable betting site is a must, so how does the Betfair sportsbook rank?
We inspect all aspects of this famous brand with our Betfair review, including bonuses, markets and more. Read on to get an understanding of what you can expect.
- No search function
- On-going promos limited
Betfair Sports Security
At Legit, we show all aspects, good and bad. Unfortunately, Betfair have found themselves in some hot water. In 2015 flaws were found with the security of their system.
Millions of customers accounts were compromised, but the issue was resolved. Betfair quickly rectified this potential issue and we’re happy to say the site is much more secure.
The company now boast 256-bit encryption as standard on browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. On top of that, Betfair doesn’t allow connections from any web browser that doesn’t meet the minimum required level of 128-bit encryption.
We also like the 2-step verification. This requires users to confirm transactions via their mobile or email. Extra layers of security like this are ones we highly recommend taking advantage of.
Protection of Funds
The UKGC rate Betfair’s protection of funds policy as ‘high’. This is because player funds, ie deposits and winnings, are held by a third party. In this case, money is placed in a trust fund with The Sporting Exchange (Clients) Limited.
It’s good to see where your money will be held as it can guarantee protection. If for some reason, Betfair were to go into liquidation, your funds would still be safe.
Legit online bookmakers tend to have this in place, but not all are so impressive. The ‘high’ rating isn’t awarded to all sites, so it’s worth bearing in mind.
Betfair holds more licences that most UK sportsbook companies. Not only is it licenced with UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission), they also hold licences with:
- Malta Gaming Authority
- Danish Gambling Authority
And has the licence to operate in:
All of the above countries have specific licence requirements, so it shows that they are a serious player. Of course, the merger with Paddy Power in 2018 also increased how trustworthy they are as the two-brand combined take a huge amount of the market share.
Bookmakers in the UK offer players tools to ensure that they gamble responsibly. At Betfair, they provide a wide range. Players can set limits on losses, stakes and deposits, as well as take time away from betting altogether. These are common across all legit betting sites.
The Betfair budget calculator, however, is not available on many other sites. It’s a simple tool that shows how much funds can be put aside for gambling.
Although not high-tech, it’s a nice addition and gives players the chance to double-check their budget.
Betfair Sportsbook is Trusted Because
The first thing to point out here is that the welcome offer is ‘up to’ £100 in free bets.
So, although it looks hugely appealing – some players may never get £100. In order to gain the maximum amount, you need to bet a total of £250 of your own money.
Your free bets are awarded in increments of £20 when you place 5 x £10 bets. Again, you need to pay attention to the small print here.
You need to place 5 bets. Placing 2 x £25 wagers will only count towards 2 of the 5 bets required. Furthermore, bets on the same market will not count and the minimum odds for each bet must be 1/2 (1.5) or higher.
It may sound like we’re not keen on this welcome offer, but it is actually decent, as long as you know what you’re getting into. Although you must lay out £50 before you receive a £20 free bet, being able to get a £20 free bet 5 times is a hugely valuable deal.
UK Welcome Offer – Up to £100 in Free Bets
Using one of our links and enter the code: ZBBC01
Using either a debit card or Apple Pay
Place five £10 bets at odds of at least 1/2 (1.5)
Five times for the maximum £100 in free bets
Key Terms and Conditions
Along with the odds restrictions, we want to highlight a couple of other terms.
Firstly, the payment methods. Only deposits via debit card or apple pay will make you eligible for this offer. If you use an e-wallet such as Skrill or PayPal, you forfeit. Therefore, before you deposit stop and think if you are comfortable with those methods.
It’s also worth noting that your qualifying bets need to be settled in order for the free bet to be released. This means ante-post markets won’t be suitable, as your bet may not settle in time. Be mindful of your selections.
At the time of writing, there are six promotions on their dedicated page. These range from free bets to each way edge. All have a little twist.
We’ll look at one in detail to give you an idea of what you can expect.
Bet £20 on Multiples to get a £5 Free Bet on Multiples
In a nutshell, place a £20 accumulator, and get a £5 free bet to use on an accumulator the next day. From our experience, this offer runs daily, however, it only ever states the exact day you visit the site. It’s a good offer for players who enjoy placing multiple selections in a single bet.
VIP and Loyalty
Betfair sportsbook offers an excellent VIP programme for their poker and casino sites. That said, there isn’t much information on a sports version. Although it is likely that there is a VIP scheme, it appears to be by invitation only.
Betfair Sportsbook Betting Markets
Not only does Betfair cover a wide range of sports, but they also offer excellent depth. This is especially true for football markets where we found over 300 betting options for a single Premier League match. That kind of marker depth is rarely matched and shows how serious Betfair sports is.
When researching our Betfair review, we compared odds on many events and can confirm they offer competitive odds.
One of the best ways to know if you are getting value is by comparing odds. We’re not suggesting you compare tens of sites but there are handy sites to help you out with it.
It’s not always as simple as comparing one set of odds either, but it comes down to understanding how odds are created. For bookmakers, it all comes down to their over-round, or margin. The best way to show this is with an example.
|Bookmaker||Number of markets||1X2 Margin|
Here we can see how four top bookmakers in the UK are set up for a Premier League match between Leicester and Liverpool. The Betfair bookies have priced up their book to 107%.
The 7% above 100 is the bookmaker ‘edge’ which is always added, but the amount varies. While 2% an outcome can be considered the ‘norm’, you can see from the above table that Betfair are in fact adding the biggest margin in our example.
But what does that mean for the odds? Interestingly, while a 2% difference seems big – it doesn’t have a huge effect on odds. In this case, the odds for Betfair, and William Hill are:
- Betfair: Leicester 13/5 Draw 5/2 Liverpool 21/20
- William Hill: Leicester 12/5 Draw 5/2 Liverpool 21/20
So, the only difference is with one outcome but the margin is showing a big shift in William Hill’s favour.
It’s also worth noting that Betfair offers more markets here than William Hill. On top of that, their margin is better on other markets, such as both teams to score. Betfair are operating that market to a 6% margin, while William Hill is at a 7% over-round.
With this in mind, we would say that Betfair offers competitive odds across a number of markets, but might not be the number one choice for 1×2 value.
Best Odds Guaranteed
Best Odds Guaranteed is promoted on UK and Irish racing and we’ve not experienced any issues with this. So, as well as getting good value on fixed odds, you’re also ensuring you don’t miss out if odds on your runner drifts before the off.
Be mindful that it only applies to UK and Irish races. You should also consider:
- Maximum payout £50k (per day)
- Win/each-way markets only
- Not available on ante-post markets
- Official Industry SP (starting price) applies
These are standard rules across all sportsbooks in the UK.
Betfair Sports in the UK
Football betting markets are priced up well in advance with highly competitive odds, but we would say that Betfair is best known for horse racing.
This is partly due to the exchange market it provides; however, their fixed odds are also worth looking at.
Top markets include the daily UK and Irish races, which tend to be priced at great margins. Football 1×2 odds are usually up early and competitive, as are other markets such as wincast, first goalscorer, over/under goals etc.
Furthermore, UK focused sports such as darts and snooker are provided with good coverage. Overall, the sports offering in the UK is well above average.
All bookmakers, big and small will have maximum pay-outs listed within their terms and conditions. The amount can vary greatly between bookies, and events, so it’s worth knowing what winnings you can actually take home.
For example, if you place a 14-fold accumulator, will you receive the amount promised in the betslip? The answer might not always be yes. Here is what Betfair state on their website.
This is not an exhaustive list and all sports are subject to some limitation. As you can see, bets within the same sport can also have very different limits.
Compared with other betting sites, they sit near the top end of the limits. William Hill and bet365 do have double the limit on horse racing and football, but for the other sports, they are on a similar level.
Multiple Bets and Exceptions
We should also note that the maximum winning payout a player can receive in a day is £1,000,000.
Of course, it would be great to win a massive sum, but be mindful that regardless of what odds are in your betting slip – £1,000,000 is the most you can take home.
This is something to think about when creating huge accumulators as you don’t want to be in a position of forfeiting extra winnings.
Since live events are prominent on the home page, it is easy to see where to place an in-play bet. The odds-change indicator was really clear, and a confirmation of a change in price in the bet slip showed up instantly for us.
We found that there was a great amount of choice for live markets. In fact, it almost matched the pre-match numbers. A generous selection of football markets were live when we checked, of course, this is dictated by which events are on.
Live streams and in-play betting go hand in hand. Not all bookmakers in the UK can afford to show a huge number of events, but at Betfair, players can view many sports.
This extends to top European football, premium horse racing, darts and more.
It’s worth noting that you will need to have either had an active account balance or have placed a real-money bet within the previous 24 hours to be able to watch the streams.
For some horse racing events, you will also be required to place a bet to see the race. For UK races players need to place a bet per race in order to view. A minimum of a £1 stake is needed, including a £0.50 each way bet. This is standard practice amongst all bookmakers in the UK.
US and South African races are available to watch with only a funded account.
In terms of finding the streams; you can see which events will be live as they display a small television symbol. A handy schedule can be found within the in-play tab so you can see exactly what is coming up.
Betfair Cash Out
Being able to cash out a bet is key for many bettors. At Betfair, you can fully or partially cash out your bets.
This can be great if you’ve gone for a risky 4-fold accumulator and 3 of the legs have already won, or all your selections are winning. Although you get lower odds than if you let the games run, this is really handy to take your winnings while you can.
There is also the option of a partial cash-out. This works in the same way as above, but you can leave some of your stake live.
For example, you place a £10 on Manchester United to win a 2/1. After 80 minutes they are leading 1-0 and you’re not sure whether to cash out or not.
Using the slider within the betslip you can choose to cash out but leave £5 on. You won’t be offered £15 by cashing out £5 early, but something around the £10 mark. This means if the score remains 1-0 or United win by any scoreline you’ve only won £25 instead of £30 that you could have won.
If the score, however, becomes 1-1 then you have at least some profit. It doesn’t offer much value to players, but in certain circumstances, it can be very handy.
What is the Betfair Exchange?
No Betfair review would be complete without mentioning the exchange. The Betfair exchange is where players place bets against each other, rather than against the bookmaker, as in traditional betting. As a note, your Betfair exchange login is the same as your regular details – it’s combined on the one site.
It gives players the chance to not only bet something will happen but also bet against it. This is called ‘laying’ a bet. So, in the exchange, you either back the bet or lay it.
For this to work, another player on the network needs to match the other side of the bet ie if you think something won’t happen another player has to think it will for the bet to work.
The exchange can look complicated to new players and we would recommend checking out a couple of tutorials before you have a go yourself. Odds do tend to be more generous on the exchange, but they’re not guaranteed.
Betfair offers the biggest kind of betting exchanges in the UK and it has a solid reputation.
We should also note that commissions are charged on winning bets. The rates vary and we highly recommend you check.
- Regular promotions
- Fixed odds
- Margins built in to odds
- Stake restrictions
- Set odds
- Can trade your bets
- Back against an outcome
- Commission charged
- Difficult to understand
Betfair Payment Methods
We like the simplicity of the payment method options at Betfair. They provide the most common options, and all are fuss-free for both deposits and withdrawals.
There is a good range of options and all of them can be considered safe. We particularly like both PayPal and Apple Pay. These offer extra layers of security to players, and that is something we’re big fans of.
|Payment Method||Minimum deposit||Withdrawal time|
|£5||2-5 working days|
|£5||2-5 working days|
|£10||Within 24 hours|
|£10||Within 24 hours|
|£10||Within 24 hours|
|£5||2-5 working days|
It should be noted that regardless of what payment method you pick, you’ll need to confirm your identity. This involves sending pictures of official documents including a passport or drivers licence, and proof of address.
Not included in the above table is the option to deposit using cash. You can go to any Paddy Power shop and deposit into your Betfair account. It’s a pretty cool additional option.The minimum amount is £10 and you can put in up to £2,500 a day.
The Betfair Sportsbook App
The Betfair sportsbook app is available on the Apple and Google Play stores and comes highly rated. It has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 on the app store after more than 50,000 reviews. This speaks for itself.
The app is well built and easy to use, and we can see why it’s the go-to for many bettors. Live streaming is available on the move and keeping track of your live bets is easy.
The additional security functions such as setting a pin code or using TouchID and FaceID are great options too. At legit, these little extras can go a long way in helping to protect your data and we highly recommend taking advantage of them.
We like to ensure that we look at all the details, and for our Betfair review we found a feature unique to the app.
Market graphs showing trends were available for a number of events and provided useful betting information. It’s these little extras that make the Betfair app stand-out.
There is also a separate app for the exchange.
Customer service is one of our key criteria’s for assessing a betting site. We’re happy to say that Betfair does not disappoint.
We found the support agent so to be knowledgeable and they answered our queries in a timely manner.
On average out chats were answered after 20 seconds, and emails were replied to within 24 hours.
Their social media channels provide a good amount of information on offer and you can reach out to them there too. In saying that, we would recommend you head straight to support if you can.
Tips and Tricks
There is plenty to get stuck into with the Betfair sportsbook, but we would recommend you check out the exchange. It offers a unique way to bet, peer-to-peer, and some interesting markets can appear. As we mentioned above, it can look complicated.
But, there are plenty of tutorials out there to help you get to grips with it. And once you have the hang of it, it becomes as straight forward as regular betting. If you’re going to play at Betfair, then you should check it out.
In order to provide a balanced Betfair review, we also want to highlight the areas in which they can improve.
While the welcome offer is generous, not all players will achieve the full £100 in free bets. There is quite a lot of spending your own money first in order to benefit from the free bets, which won’t suit small stakes. Compared with other betting sites offers such as William Hill that provides £30 free bets for a £10 deposit, it isn’t appealing to all.
Betfair sportsbook definitely achieves the legit seal of approval. It provides excellent promotions for all its players and a solid platform for betting on sports.
Odds are competitive and the market depth is first class. If you’re looking for a new sports betting sites, then Betfair comes highly recommended.
Is Betfair legit?
Yes. It holds all relevant licences, promotes responsible gambling and has excellent security measures in place.
Is Betfair a good sports betting site?
Yes, Betfair sportsbook is one of the best. You’ll find competitive odds on tons of sports including football, tennis, horse racing, snooker and more. Furthermore, there is an interesting exchange market where you bet against other players.
How do I cash out at Betfair?
The cash out feature at Betfair is great. You can cash out completely, or make use of the partial cash out. It is available on a wide number of markets. Simply head to your betslip and if you’re able to cash out, it will inform you.
How long does it take to withdrawal from Betfair?
If you use Apple Pay it can take between 2-5 working days, however, if you withdraw to PayPal it will be within 24 hours. It depends on what payment method you choose.