Betfair Q&A: ++ 25 things to know about Betfair.com

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Betfair.com

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Hi guys:

I've started this Betfair Q+A thread for you to ask me questions about Betfair. I will try to answer as many as I can...if you need help right away, you may want to try 'Getting Started in the Betfair Education' section.

Also for Canadians (and other currently accepted players):

Help is available 24/7.
By Email: info@betfair.com ('Canada' in the Subject Line)
By Phone: 1-866-381-7119 (Free from Canadian landlines)



I've also put some fast facts about Betfair.com below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks,

Rob

  1. In excess of 2 million registered customers worldwide making Betfair the UK’s biggest online betting company and the world‘s biggest online betting community. (Ratified by the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency)
    [*]Betfair pioneered the betting exchange concept in 2000. Betfair was founded by Ed Wray and Andrew Black in 2000. TIME Magazine article
    [*]Betfair's CEO is American. David Yu attended Stanford and the University of California.
    [*]Betfair enables customers to choose their own odds and bet against each other, even after an event has started.
  2. Top 20 online companies in the world for revenue. (Online companies including Amazon, Google, Yahoo and eBay – estimated for calendar year 2008.)<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
  3. No.1 online company in the world for revenue growth. (25% growth across the Betfair Group. We are equal with Google in a list of online companies with annual revenues in excess of £250m, so it includes Amazon, eBay and Yahoo) <o:p></o:p>
  4. 4<SUP>th</SUP> Most Valuable Digital start-up according to Silicon Alley Insider, Sept 2008. (This is a list of dotcoms that are still privately-owned. Ahead of us: Facebook, Wikipedia and Craigslist – behind us: Mozilla, Metacafe and Digg)
  5. Betfair handle more transactions than all of Europe’s stock exchanges combined – an average of 5 million a day, which is more than the NYSE - 99.9% are successfully completed in under one second.
  6. 1,500 servers in five global data-centres – many of which are designated to talk to each other in real time across different time zones.
  7. Betfair employs 1200 people worldwide. (1350 including the joint venture with PBL in Australia). <o:p></o:p>
  1. Betfair has signed 40 Memoranda of Understanding with governing sports bodies around the world including ATP, FIFA and the IOC.
  2. Betfair alerted the ATP about suspicious betting activity on the Davydenko / Vassallo match in Poland in 2007. (see NY Times article )
  3. <o:p>Betfair offers a portfolio of innovative products including taikai pools, exchange games , Betfair arcade & tradefair. </o:p>
  4. <o:p>www.betfaircasino.com is the only Casino to offer players games with zero house-edge.</o:p>
  5. <o:p>www.betfairpoker.com announces a long term deal with Harrah's to sponsor the WSOP Europe in London.</o:p>
  6. No. Bets placed per day on av. (in past 12 months): 4,517,162 (Exchange only)
  7. No. Bets placed per year on av.(in past 12 months): 1,653,281,372 (Exchange only)
  8. Money deposited every minute on av.(in past 12 months): £2,816
  9. <o:p>Betfair has twice been named the UK’s Company of the Year by the Confederation of British Industry</o:p>
  10. <o:p>Betfair remains one of the only betting companies to win a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, being recognised for Innovation in 2003 and most recently for International Trade in 2008.</o:p>
  11. <o:p>Betfair is a licensed betting operator in the UK, and also operates under licenses in Australia, Austria, Italy and Malta.</o:p>
  12. <o:p>Average number page views per second: 7700 – or - 4.65 Billion per week.</o:p>
  13. <o:p>www.betfairpredicts.com is launched in 2008 and using customer betting patterns, Betfair customers are already predicting who will win the Super Bowl.</o:p>
  14. <o:p>Betfair is profitable, privately-owned, debt-free and growing fast. A large percentage of its employees own part of the company.</o:p>
  15. <o:p></o:p><o:p><o:p>Biggest Betfair Markets ever (by volume matched):<o:p></o:p>
---Soccer Market – World Cup 2006: Outright Winner - £70.2m<o:p></o:p>

---Tennis Match Odds – Wimbledon 2008 Men’s Final: Federer v Nadal - £49m---Soccer Match Odds – Euro 2008: Italy v Romania - £25.7m<o:p></o:p>
</o:p>
</o:p>
 

nwfloridadude

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Are you getting close to allowing Usa residents to bet horses as i heard it was in talks?Thanks
 

PABronco

~~ Bleedin' Orange & Blue ~~
Joined
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Messages
833
Why can't non.members read forum pages ? This has changed perhaps in the last 2months and I'm not understanding... I mean it's bad enough that us Yanks can't wager w/your company however I always found the forum(s) insightful for my tennis & football research... thanks ahead ... PA
 

Betfair.com

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Answer to 'Betfair/USA question

Hi nwfloridadude:

Thanks for your question. First, it's a bit difficult for me to answer questions like that because most of the work we are doing in the US won't be made public until deals are reached/formalized.

What I can say is that if someone were to take a close look at what is already out there, you can kind of see where it's all going...

1. See our 2008 annual report www.corporate.betfair.com and note that we succeeded in Having Dutch Betting Case Refered to European Court of Justice (June, 2008) and as Santos mentions here http://www.therxforum.com/showthread.php?t=642645
we won our case in the Aussie High Court (March, 2008).

2. Betfair inked a long-term deal with Harrah's to sponsor WSOPE

3. Betfair is starting to build some brand awareness in the US with sites like www.betfairpredicts.com (US Elections and NFL)

4. Our company is UK but our CEO happens to be American.

Santos' quote below says it quite well...(Also, we go above and beyond to do things 'by the book')

"It's not Betfair's policy to do that. They take a follow the law policy, which has worked well in the case of Australia (where they won court battles and are now legally recognised), and I expect them to now follow that approach in each country they want to expand into. Lobbying over rebellion."

Regards,

Rob<!-- / message -->
 

betedgeonly

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Jan 31, 2007
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hope your pay is as prompt as your willing to take the cash. gl in your business affairs.


beo
 

PPHSERVICES

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Can you compare your commission rates to that of matchbook, This is a very good question I am sure all potential clients would like to know. Especially if already using matchbook.

thanks for your response
 

orbit

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Nov 2, 2004
Messages
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Can you compare your commission rates to that of matchbook, This is a very good question I am sure all potential clients would like to know. Especially if already using matchbook.

thanks for your response


Yeah Betfair ... lets talk about commissions ... you may want to mention that you have a sliding scale commission that, with a lot of trading, can get your commission down to 2% which is very nice

BUT AND ITS A BIIIIIIIIGGG BUT.

Make sure you dont win too much cuz they now have a lovely little charge called the "Premium Charge" where they take 20% of your winnings if you are a sucessful bettor. If your account shows profit over 60 weeks you get dinged ...

I know matchbook doesnt have that and you have no hope in hell of beating them with that sh*t premium charge on the books if and when you guys allow US players
 

Betfair.com

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Betfair and Matchbook

Thank you for your question PPH.

First, I don't want to really speak for Matchbook's pricing but I can definitely answer questions about Betfair's rates.

Detailed rate info may be found here. Read it and let me know if you have any further questions. Basically, the winner of each matched bet is charged between 2-5% commission. Most people start at 5%. The more you bet, the lower your commission rate becomes.


As a Canadian online gambler, I think it's a bit nuts to not have a Matchbook, Pinny and Betfair account (as well as a few others).

First, Betfair is in-play on every game + every market which would allow you more flexibility to trade OUT of some of your Betfair, Matchbook or Pinny positions and guarantee a profit.

In-play, Matchbook's liquidity is obviously proprietary (Matchbook is seeding their own markets). No silly odds, no depth, just a market at a set percentage all the way through. Which is fine for your simple $20 player who only bets to win, but it's no good for anyone who wants to pit his wits against other bettors around the world (some who know nothing about NA sports) and get matched at silly odds. NFL is one of the best sports for getting short odds turned over. Not sure about this weekend, but last week had a 1.02, 1.05 and 1.08 beaten on Sunday. Plus New Orleans went 1.01 out to 2.8 before coming back to win against the Falcons.
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p> </o:p>
The smarter players will always want to beat the juice by letting the squares bet in play with them.
 

Santo

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There is a difference between seeding their own markets and offering discounts to external market makers who provide liquidity, my understanding is that Matchbook do the latter.
 

Betfair.com

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Discount rate question

Orbit:

A couple of things I'd like to mention...

RE: sliding scale commission rate.

Not ALL customers start at 5%. For example, I had an Rxer ask me if he were to make a large deposit, could we start him off at a lower (more natural) discount rate so he may try Betfair to trade in/out of Matchbook and Pinny positions-which we did. His volume (so far) has allowed him to keep the lower rate.

RE:premium Charge

We announced a pricing change in September. As explained in our email communications to our customers, there is no change for the vast majority of our customers - the change will only affect a very small proportion (less than 0.5% of active customers).

Winners are welcome at Betfair, as they always have been.

If we’d had this charge in place over the last year less than 2% of those customers who were in profit (after commission) would have paid it. More than 98% of Betfair’s winning customers would NEVER have been charged. If any Canadian custs are in any doubt about how this change would have affected you, please email premiumcharge@betfair.com. We hosted a Q&A session on the Betfair forum, and we answered all Premium charge questions of interest to Betfair customers there.
 

Betfair.com

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There is a difference between seeding their own markets and offering discounts to external market makers who provide liquidity, my understanding is that Matchbook do the latter.

Thanks for the clarification. I'm sure you are right.
 

PPHSERVICES

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It seems to me that the premium charge is outrageous. Even for the small % it affects. Basically Betfair is getting a free roll on the sharpest minds in sports betting. It usually works in the reverse manner. If bet fair is a true exchange they shouldn't penalize winners. They already are earning all the way through. Please explain the rational behind this 20% premium charge?
 

BEANTOWNJIM

I GRIN WHEN I WIN
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Sep 21, 2004
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bet fair
question 1 why would anybody send money to your sportsbook to bet on horses jesus f-cking christ we have many choices already? Most players bet sports and just sports.i would say less than 10% on this forum bet horses.

question 2 i used to play at bet australia and they gave out one fed ex check per month does your sportsbook do that?

follow up does bet fair offer reduced juice on sports like bet australia used to -107 on the games.

this is what most americans want free payout and low vig other than that bet fair your just another sportsbook.
 

Betfair.com

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Hi Jim:

We offer 1 free withdrawal every month to Canadians (direct bank x-fer).

You can bet on all North American sports and we have lots of different types of lines posted.

For example, our Super Bowl Futures market has roughly $1.5 million matched so far.
 

SaltyVeteran

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Why would you sponsor a poker player like Sorel Mizzi who has been kicked off of other sites for cheating? Is that how you want your site to be represented?
 

Betfair.com

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Betfair Canada Forum

Why can't non.members read forum pages ? This has changed perhaps in the last 2months and I'm not understanding... I mean it's bad enough that us Yanks can't wager w/your company however I always found the forum(s) insightful for my tennis & football research... thanks ahead ... PA


Thanks for the question PA Bronco:


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<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-alt:"Calisto MT"; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1107304683 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-alt:"Times New Roman"; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Tahoma; panose-1:2 11 6 4 3 5 4 4 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:1627400839 -2147483648 8 0 66047 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif"; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 72.0pt 72.0pt 72.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> Unfortunately, it will be the case that the forum will not be able to be read from the US anymore, simply because you now need to be logged in to read the forum, and we don’t allow those we’ve identified as being in the US to log in.



<o:p></o:p>We had for legal reasons to restrict access to customers only, and those whose identities we can validate. There’s no real way to validate someone's age for example without them logging in.

I’ll discuss with the legal team in UK and find out their views. Maybe we can do something...not sure.
<o:p> </o:p>
<o:p>Y</o:p>ou can also check out www.betting.betfair.com/canada OR www.betting.betfair.com.


There are tons of really great sports gambling writers on there - That may help with your betting research.

Thanks again,

Rob
 

Soriano12

Active member
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
2,603
It seems to me that the premium charge is outrageous. Even for the small % it affects. Basically Betfair is getting a free roll on the sharpest minds in sports betting. It usually works in the reverse manner. If bet fair is a true exchange they shouldn't penalize winners. They already are earning all the way through. Please explain the rational behind this 20% premium charge?

Especially since it's almost impossible to calculate the premium charge in advance. So as a customer, who is actually hit by that ridiculous charge, you never know, which odds you get for your wager when you actually place it: If you back team A for +100 before premium charge is deducted, these odds can easily go down to -110 or even lower when you get hit by that charge because you don't know if and how hard the premium charge will hit you since the charge is calculated few days later based on your past weeks performance.
And any successful sportsbettor should now about the importance of lineshopping and getting the best odds, a thing you can can practically forget about at betfair thanks to that charge.
Besides that, the charge hits those guys most, who win at betfair, although these are the guys that already pay lots of fees to betfair, so I didn't get the point why to charge them even more in the first play.

Besides that, betfair always paid out really fast and without any problems and offered great value with their in play markets. :103631605
 

winbet

Rx. Senior
Joined
Sep 21, 2004
Messages
7,744
The poster Betfair.com is no more than a local geezer trying to earn a few quid promoting Betfair, there's at least one in every Country. We can thank Betfair for making the Bookmakers more competative and getting Punters the best Odds but they are on a slippery slope with dwindling profits because all there's left on their markets are Traders, the same is happening to Matchbbook.

All this does is make the Spreads sharper which means nothing changes only more snouts in the Trough of the losers. :drink:
 

vitamin

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
374
Let's say Koubek is playing Gonzalez in a minor ATP first round event with low volume. I like Koubek even though he's just been broken, and place an offer to back him at +200. On the Koubek side of the book no-one is offering to lay at -200 os it is unmatched.

Now it will occasionally happen that simultaneously another customer offers to lay Gonzalez at, say -220. In the past such a bet would also be unmatched on the Gonzalez side of the book.

These bets could be matched though, so Betfair altered their system to match such bets. The question is, what is the fair price to match them at?

I think most punters would say somewhere around 210. So I get Koubek at 210, 1% better than I asked for. The Gonzalez layer gets 210 which is also 1% better than he asked for.

In Customer Gouge number 3, Betfair programmed their system to match me at 200 and the other guy at -220, and pocket the difference - in addition of course to their commission - for themselves.

I think posters here should be aware that at no point in my time with Betfair has the company had such a large proportion of its customer base so disgruntled with it.

Yeah they call them "betfair robots" that take this bets / price .
I am aware of this .



Here is something for you to read:

I copy this text just before he(Andrew Black) removed the whole thing from his blog . I had i feeling he would do that.Also betfair was buisy for the next few days taking out many many posts from their own forum so called trouble makers who would post / try to expose the whole Premium charge .


ENJOY



Bert’s Horseracing Blog

Betfair’s Andrew Black
(founder of betfair)on Horse Racing, Betting, Betfair and Random Musings



Andrews Black replies are in green under nick Bert
Its all starts with a post #7.

Enjoy.

Bert’s Horseracing Blog
Betfair’s Andrew Black on Horse Racing, Betting, Betfair and Random Musings

1.
on 05 Sep 2008 at 5:00 pm1Philip Harfleet

What really lovely photos! Love the sheephorse.
Lilac Moon is a real good-looker. Very athletic looking, especially in the fore-quarters and neckline. She’s a darling.
2.
on 06 Sep 2008 at 3:41 am2The Gambler.

100-1 Baa One.
3.
on 06 Sep 2008 at 9:24 am3Mick

Pretty good TG :)
4.
on 06 Sep 2008 at 11:12 am4Jon

Bloody rain.
5.
on 07 Sep 2008 at 1:31 am5The Gambler.

Cheers Mick. :).
6.
on 07 Sep 2008 at 3:04 am6Sokyola

Andrew,

Im just wondering why Betfair do not allow punters in Japan to use the system.

Will this change ever in the future? I find this very frustrating,

Thank You
Sokyola

OK THIS IS WHERE IT STARTS

7.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 6:57 pm7tiller

Hi Bert,

Just wondered if we could have your thoughts on Betfair’s new premium charges. As a great advocate of Betfair, i find it immensely dissapointing that they have gone down the route of making their most successful customers pay 20% in commision for every winning week. In fact i would go so far as calling it an abuse of their monopoly of the market
8.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 8:41 pm8fred

I’m going to be a little stronger than that Bert and say that its an absolute disgrace on Betfair’s behalf. You already make quite enough money off commision rates without needing to bolster the coffers any further and this is pure greed, plain and simple. Its an incredibly crass move which I can only hope will turn as many “high-rollers” and other punters away from Betfair as soon as possible. You couldn’t make it up, an absolute joke and I shall be closing my account. I look forward to hearing your views.

Yours disgusted.

Fred
9.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 9:01 pm9Nick

What an idiotic decision by the faceless accountants at Betfair. I used to think Betfair was the best thing since sliced bread, now I hold it in the same contempt as the high street bookies. What have people like Mark Davies got against successful punters/traders? I’ll definitely be conducting more business at the rival exchanges.
10.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 9:02 pm10hazel

I remember when you introduced a Betfair loyalty scheme, it looks like that in your absence your colleagues at Betfair have tried to destroy it with the new premium charge. This new charge not only alienates those paying it, but worse for Betfair is the turn off it will have on anyone aspiring to make betting pay via Betfair.
11.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 9:06 pm11roger

Bert - what is going on??? These charges are blatant rape of the regular and loyal Betfair customer. So vile are the undertakings of our beloved Betfair that I have contacted Betdaq today with view to finding out their take on these theiving exploits over @ Betfair. Their response was

“Many thanks for your mail.
We are very aware of the recent changes our competitiors have made to their commission structure, with the introduction of premium charges.
We are currently reviewing customers commission rates and looking at ways of bringing their business to BETDAQ, if you have a BETDAQ account please forward your username/account number and our Commercial Director will review your account and be in contact with you in the next 48 hours.

Kind Regards,
Hazel
Customer Service Supervisor
BETDAQ
IFSC House
Custom House Quay
Dublin 1 ”

its just a matter of time Bert!!

astonished, angry and deceived…

rog
12.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 9:07 pm12andy

Bert sorry to plague your racing blog with befair posts but as this is the only way to possibly contact you i guess it has to be.
Been with betfair for over 5 years its changed my life allowed me to make a living from betting and do something i love at the same time (watching sport). It is now my lively hood. Todays decision to charge some of betfairs most loyal customer more just because they are good at it seems to be going against everything you set it up to be (ie you can make money on here and we won’t close your account etc). What is also more annoying than the extra charge is the sheer lack of explanation of the reason behind it. Just a log in message saying we are charging you more no explanation of why?? Just wandering how much you know about the decision its reasons or if you had any input or say over it. Would just like you opinion on it
Thanks sorry to pestor on a horse racing blog but greatly admire you for what you created and was interested in your opinion
13.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 9:47 pm13screwed punter

How much trouble financially are betfair in ? Seems to be no end to the greed within the company at the moment but at least it’ll pay for a few more of berts horses for now
14.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 10:00 pm14Chris

Been with BF since the start and always admired and praised the whole set up.
Due to the £1000 allowance on my last 60 weeks I would
miss any extra payment by about £100, so I am a borderline
case.
However this is a step to far and I will be visiting the purple one
more often.
On a more positive note thanks for creating BF and changing
betting for ever its much appreciated.
Good luck in the future with your new venture.
15.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 10:49 pm15Pierre LP

Andrew,
Today’s premium charge finally means that I am forced to leave BF, so at least you have one thing to smile about. My old horse is still enjoying his retirement.
16.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:09 pm16Bert

I’m away from the company at the moment and I have been for a while, but I did know about this change (although I’m not sure about the fine detail). Some comments;

I’m told that this is a change that affects less than 1 in 200 customers - a tiny proportion. A large number of those affected are running aggressive bots that are collectively costing us millions each year in running costs. I guess the majority of the remainder are traders, but to qualify for the charge they must be making a fair amount and rarely lose.

The new charge (again AFAIK) has it that these consistent winners now have to pay a minimum of 20% of their profits. It’s not much though. Betfair has enormous running costs - over 1200 people employed, massive technology costs, big marketing costs and a load of taxes, levy etc. The trader has very few costs - basically access to the internet which he would probably have anyway and that’s it.

I think that 20% is actually a very good deal - there aren’t many walks of life where you can get an 80-20 deal your way where the 20% side carry all the costs as well. It isn’t as good a deal as the one you had yesterday, but it’s still a good deal.

As far as the greed comments are concerned - it is normal business practice to change and optimise charges. The exec at Betfair think they have been undercharging and this is a move to rectify the balance.

17.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:17 pm17andy

thanks for your reply bert this goes a fair way to explaining it for me feel a bit better about it now just don’t see why befair couldn’t have offered this explanation rather than just going ahead and doing it with none. I think also for those of us who rely on it the lack of explanation breeds thoughts (perhaps wrongly) that befair are trying to get rid of profit makers in the same way as bookmakers do.
Thanks for explaining the rational this has eased my worries (even if they were a little paranoid)
18.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:33 pm18roger

disagree bert - what about the people who set out on missions to utlize the wonderful model thats was Betfair under its charges as were that now find themselves 2 years down the line and possibly back to square one due to the margins being cut to the hilt.
it could be argued i guess that Betfair do not owe us anything..but in reality they do!. it was the punters whom they enticed under certain conditions and it was the punters who made them. i think this is wholey immoral and unsatisfactory, but i guess that doesnt worry the guys who have made their cash eh!!?
19.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:41 pm19Richie

I’m neither running a bot nor earning masses amounts of money. In fact, I’d describe myself as something of an ordinary punter who enjoys a frequent flutter on my favorite sports events. I have good wins and steep losses. But I still received communication today confirming I would be expected to pay a portion of my profits back to Betfair by way of a tax.

I’m taking considerable risk in the money I push through Betfair markets and the rewards are not exactly huge. Certainly not big enough for me to tolerate Betfair helping themselves to another 15%-16% on top of what I’ve already paid in commission.

I’m sure you do think it represents “a great deal” when Betfair gets to help itself to upto an extra 15% of the money I’ve earned THROUGH RISK in using your exchange.

I’ll take my pennies elsewhere and let the higher rollers enjoy sharing a big chunk of their profits with you.

Good luck Bert.
smile2.gif

20.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:41 pm20Zola

Bert,
Apologies again for the hijack, but I think this new rule is terrible. Yes, companies are out to make money, and so am I. However I like to bet from a position of known information. As it now stands the odds are no longer the odds. The odds I take today can only really be calculated after 60 weeks.

This one decision will not drive me away from Betfair, but the overall emerging picture of how the company is begining to turn and several recent “improvements” are making me seek alternatives whenever possible. Sad times.
21.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:41 pm21james

Sorry I have to disagree, its an appalling deal, the government only used to take 9% tax and that was in the dark ages of punting. I shall be trying my look elsewhere over the next few weeks and would imagine many others will be doing the same, this could cost many people thousands of pounds a year and there is a simple solution to this, move elsewhere, liquidity increases and there is no 20% takeout or even anything close to this totally obscene charge.
22.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:43 pm22New Betdaq customer

Astonishing decision by Betfair, especially as it was so much, so quickly. I will be arranging a coffin with other former Betfair users to parade at the Hammersmith HQ to mourn the death of the betting exchange concept. Betfair was a great innovation and one that had the chance to shape the future. Now they are no better than a normal bookie, a sad decline.
23.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:43 pm23james

Furthermore I do not run a bot or trade heavily either, I cant afford to be giving away a fifth of my winnings just plain and simple.
24.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:44 pm24Hzl

Shame and disguising.
Thankfully, other exchanges are still available.
25.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:44 pm25Andy F

Hi Bert,

I think today is a black day for Betfair (sorry about the pun). To target the bot users in this shotgun way is wrong. Surely you can identify the accounts and deal with it on a one to one basis. I thought the data charges were supposed to sort this issue out.

I thank you for giving your comments it is much more than anyone else at the company has done. There has been no annoucement from Betfair. This news broke on the General Betting forum about 11am today, it is now 11pm and no word from Betfair. For customers to find out about this in such a way you must agree is very poor customer relations. But to then make no annoucement is even worse.

I take you point about 80/20 but why do I need to accept it. Firstly there is the liquidity issue but that is not something Betfair control, it is the customers. Secondly there is the software issue, but again that is not something Betfair control. So what are Betfair’s USP’s, well their reliability is good even allowing for that bad week of crashes, but this is something which in time can be achieved by other exchanges. I am to be honest struggling to think what Betfair control to stop customers leaving. The barriers to exit really don’t seem to be there.

I have been with your company for over 6 years but I am not sure I will see out the 7th. I have been in touch with Betdaq, namely Tom Sloanes, about todays developments at Betfair and unfortunatly I see the Betfair days are numbered.

Remember it is better to have 2 - 5% of something as opposed to 20% of nothing.

Lastly, sorry for coming on your racing blog I know it is not here for Betfair issues but as people at Betfair are not communicating I felt it was the last hope.

Today has seen some serious damge done.
26.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:44 pm26steve

” A large number of those affected are running aggressive bots that are collectively costing us millions each year in running costs.”

I thought you brought in the data and transaction charges to counter that ?
27.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:45 pm27racibg

well think on this bert, a lot of the punters you are going to take the extra from are the same punters who were with you from day1(me included), the same people who populated the markets, the same people who spread the word about your great company,the same people who championed your company in the early days, when you wondered if you would be a success, and helped turn your dream and vision into reality, and made you very rich.
Can you not see your magnificent invention is turning into just another bookies?,
Its a shame
28.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:45 pm28Frog

I posted this on the Betfair forum. Do you think Betfair have opened a can of worms with regards to new taxes on punters? 1 in 200 punters might be affected but what incentive do the other 199 in 200 have to be winners…..

Back in 2000 Betfair was launched with motos like ‘winners welcome’. Betting tax on turnover was abolished a year later in the UK. Mark Davies destroyed John Brown from Hills on Channel 4. Punters had value and no tax to pay. Everything was brilliant for punters and Betfair was raking it in with their new sliding scale commission structure. Betfair represented innovation in betting and Andrew Black was regarded as the new messiah by many punters.

In the ensuing years Betfair was challenged from all sides with regards to their punters paying extra taxes. Some very good and honest people at Betfair worked very hard to make sure that no extra taxes were put on their clients. They took their case to various government departments, C&E etc. They actually got some of their winning customers to work for them for free on this. It was in our mutual interests that the tax free status was keep. At the core of the argument was if someone won one year they may not win the next. Examples were given and it was ‘proved’ that it was best just to tax the betting companies. THIS ARGUMENT WON THE DAY.

On 8th September 2008 Betfair showed their true colours. When I say ‘Betfair’ I do not really know who we are talking about. I suspect its some techies, accountants and an ex-‘bot’ runner that dreamed up this disaster. Not content with dreaming up the flawed BFSP system and then the Betfair matching logic fiasco they have come up with this. The staff that worked tirelessly from 2002-2004 to keep BF punters tax free must be frustrated by this stupid decision. They must also be embarrassed that a company they work for has shafted the people they got to work with them for free in everyones’ mutual benefit.

Lets think about the implications of this daft decision. Short-term Betfair get more revenue. Long term they have given the keys to the Inland Revenue and C&E to tax punters. They have devised a method to ‘tax’ long term winners. They have provided the Treasury and Betfair’s critics to say winners on here can be taxed. Exactly what we convinced the government could not be done 4 years ago.

As for punters Betfair have for years had the mystique of the commission structure. No one coming onto Betfair knew how much they would actually end up paying. Most people probably don’t know exactly what they pay . Now its clear – the most you will get is 80% of the profits you make on here. Betfair will take the rest. Most people lose on here but how many join on the dream of achieving a high margin system or a no lose trading method. MOST FAIL BUT THEY COME HERE WITH THE DREAM OF WINNING BIG. Now they know they will have to pay 20% tax to Betfair (and the government may follow now BF have opened the can of worms) will they still come with the same dream we all had several years ago? Or will they consider other investment opportunities where the tax may be lower?

The Betfair betting revolution is over. Lets hope someone else starts a new revolution and the hope of making it big from betting can be reborn.
29.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:46 pm29The Purple Layer

Now its time to take the coffin down to betfairs hq

greedy s###s
30.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:48 pm30Richie

Zola:

That’s another issue I have with this change. It’s not transparent how much additional tax you will have to pay. Basically Betfair gets to run its calculations at the end of the week, and then determines how much of your money they get to rake back into their coffers by way of this new tax.

Ordinary punters have no idea what odds they are working with anymore. You can’t compare Betfair odds to the rest of the marketplace because they are potientially subject to another 15% tax on top of commission.

Regardless of whether you are likely to be affected by this or not, do you want to take the chance and get stung later? Or do you just play and safe and simple with an exchange or bookmaker with upfront odds and fees.

Tough choice.
smile2.gif

31.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:48 pm31Nick

I disagree too Bert, I use Bet Angel Pro through the API, would pay data and transaction charges if I was trading ‘aggressively’ which is only right but I’ve been told that because I’m good at what I do that Betfair want more of my money on top of the commision that I pay. ‘Winners welcome at Betfair’ that’s a joke! Betfair has tried to become a ‘jack of all trades’ games, poker, Taikai etc and the SP product which was one of the craziest ideas ever has to be paid for as cost of implementing it must have been huge and now someone has to pay for it. Sharp minds don’t bet at SP!!
32.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:56 pm32Martin

I’m a normal guy (non bot using) trying to make a living on your wonderful site. However, if I hadn’t had an abysmal March, I would have come into this ridiculous Premium Charges scam. If the idea is to penalise the bots and effectively charge them extra for using the service then why not limit it to those accounts that operate bots. It can’t be difficult to identify them.
When you came up with the original 5% commission charge when you were at the helm did you really expect some of your ‘valuable’ customers to be paying upwards of 20% within 5 years. I expect not which is why this whole thing has to be rethought. I don’t think any of us has a problem with bot users paying far more than the rest of us so do it. Nothing more simple I wouldn’t have thought without catching the innocent in the net.
33.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:57 pm33Hzl

Plus, why didnot advertise that anyone who wants to make money is not welcomed by betfair.
34.
on 08 Sep 2008 at 11:59 pm34New Betdaq customer

“I think that 20% is actually a very good deal - there aren’t many walks of life where you can get an 80-20 deal your way where the 20% side carry all the costs as well.”

But you are carrying no risk, the people making the money are, that imbalances things again. Also the exchange model is shot to bits now. As for less than 1 in 200, I just can’t see that. It feels like a very liberal intepretation.

Betfair will make many millions from this for no additional effort. They have near on £300m in the bank, that is why people feel it is greedy of them.
35.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 12:05 am35mike

If these premium charges were introduced to discourage aggressive Bots then why not charge them directly, as you already do via API calls?

Instead you have created a PR disaster.

The inital email re: “premium charges” was in smallprint, which made it look as if Betfair wanted to hide something!

The link (within the email) to the new terms & conditions was non existent to those who use the firefox browser, which again made it appear Betfair wanted to hide something!

Once i found the new T&C’s i was confused due to the complexity of it all, which just lead to panic & confusion!

Was this your intention?

I have no problem with your enthusiaim for capitalism. However, the golden rule in successful capitalism is “the customer is always right”, and these new premium do not look “Fair”, and are far from plain & simple to the majority of your customers!

Golden Rule of Capitalism : “The customer is always right”.
36.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 12:14 am36Nick

How the hell are we to know when taking a price if at the end of the week i will be charged 0% or an extra 20%, this is surely the beginning of the end for bf, i do have opened an a/c with betdaq today, at least i know what % will be taken from each bet.
37.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 12:16 am37Kay

Bye bye bet(un)fair.
That is your end !!
20 % 4 winners !!
Your silly and u become some asskicks from your paying users
38.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 12:17 am38Rob

I have been with Betfair since 2000 ,but am apalled at this greed.Hopefully everyone will move to Betdaq and it can become a viable exchange. I have removed 75% of my funds today as betting with 20% tax is simply not viable.

Greed pure and simple is what we can all see it is, as the accountants try to dress up the profits ahead of a City flotation.
39.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 12:22 am39Chris

0.5% or 1 in 200 accounts affected ?
Thats including the 10`s of thousand dormant accounts.
40.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 12:34 am40John

“I think that 20% is actually a very good deal” business ethics indeed ,they should have cut the Knackers off u instead of Marine Boy
41.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 12:37 am41mike

Bert

You write that: “I think that 20% is actually a very good deal - there aren’t many walks of life where you can get an 80-20 deal your way where the 20% side carry all the costs as well. It isn’t as good a deal as the one you had yesterday, but it’s still a great deal.”

Surely, you are very mistaken in that view. There are numerous electronic markets (stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, derivatives, spread betting, etc.) available for traders to use today where the commissions payable are less than 0.5%. By comparison, paying up to 20% to trade on a sports market is absolutely extortionate and completely unrealistic. Betfair is not bearing the trading risk, so on what possible basis can the Company imagine it is justified in taking a 20% slice of any profits generated by the trader?

There are surely other ways of dealing with the problems posed for Betfair by the “aggressive” bot users than by imposing a punitive structure of commission charges that will crush the smaller trader (the non-bot user), deter those who might join the site in future hoping to make a profit from gambling, and quite possibly drive so many site users into the hands of Betfair’s competitors that liquidity on the site becomes even more of a problem than is currently the case.

Please take the time to read the comments on the numerous thread on this subject today on the Betfair forum to get a better sense of the strength of feeling that has been expressed by so many site users and the many issues this poses for the future of Betfair’s business. Thank you.
42.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 12:49 am42Andrews Gay Lover

U and Dave Nevison outraged over the use of pacemakers, sad day for racing when the likes of you are trying to set the tone
43.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 12:49 am43Jonny

hello Bert

I think I am ok Bert as I have lost thousands on betfair.

Can i carry forward my losses to the next 60 month period.

I am frightened of winning on betfair now . Think betfair should explain the changes in simple English because I do not really understand them.

In summary I am looking to do some trading away from Betfair.

This is such a shame. I have told hundreds of people about betfair since joining in July 2000.

I have been loyal to betfair but has betfair been loyal to its clients.

I prey this will not affect me and will try to make sure i do not find too many winners.

How bizarre is that Bert?
44.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 12:58 am44fred

for a company “with remarkably high running costs”, its amazing how many freebies for betfair employees you can afford to put on, maybe you should cut back on them rather than greedily trying to attack the customer. the 1 in 200 argument doesnt wash, its disgraceful behaviour end of and i shall look forward to moving to the purple site. 20% is absolutely outrageous, how can betfair be so greedy, you do perfectly well without needing to be greedy. shameful behaviour.

fred
45.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 1:11 am45Bert

Mike - you can’t compare “per trade” costs with an overall profit levy. The vast majority of customers (99.5%) will pay no more with this change. Stamp duty in the UK is only 0.5%, but it effectively kills off trading for most people - when I was trading I was losing 40%+ of all my profit in stamp duty and broker costs. I’d have snapped up a 20% overall profit deal.

I don’t know the fine detail but my understanding is that there is virtually no risk to the customer here. This is a levy for customers who win virtually all of the time, and there aren’t many of those - anyone betting in the normal way is not going to qualify.

As I’ve said though I’m not working at BF right now and I may be misrepresenting this - if you want answers you need to speak to someone there.

46.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 1:12 am46Capitalist

I’m heading to Betdaq, THAT’s capitalism, plain and simple
47.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 1:52 am47roger

and what is wrong with winning all the time!!??? why should people with winning strategies be penalised ?? many of them are no doubt big hitters who supply the lifeblood of the exchange - liquidity!!

i’m no big player but i have had profitable 89+% SR horse laying method for the past 36 months….are you saying that i should deliberately chuck in the odd winner (loser) to offset being TOO profitable?!!

ludicrous and pittiful attempt to fleece the customers. there are many other fair steps to gain revenues from the punter..and i dont believe your percentages re the people affected. typical Betfair PR.

unfortunately from reading your replies tonite i am left with an even more bitter taste in my mouth
48.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 2:12 am48mike

Bert,

It’s not true that only customers who win “virtually all the time will be effected”.

A full-time customer who wins just 50% of the time will also be affected if their average winnings are just 24% more than their losses.

I really dont think those behind this hair-brained idea have thought it through, as it really does look like a raw deal imo!

Punters/Traders/Gamblers/Customers also need to calculate simply & quickly what their risk/reward is, and this new tax just creates confusion, kills time, energy for for many the fun of it all!!
49.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 2:47 am49James

If only 0.5% are affected now, What if more people start winning decent amounts? Not going to decrease is it, So therefore it is only likely go increase further. For those who are affected now. It’s either Win and win only 80% of what you should win or lose and lose it all together. Effectively a no win situation and for Betfair a Win - Win situation.

The fact is while you are taking money from people who won it fairly. You are totally going against what Betfair was set up to do. Punters place bets against each other. Yet if you win its possible Betfair will then take 20% of it. For some reason I got a feeling that this wont be advertised on television.
Or if it is that good a deal as you say, Advertise it and clearly state it.

From what I also see from throughout this blog and other stuff its as others have put it, Sheer greed.

Not very good considering Betfair welcomes winners.
50.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 3:01 am50mike

Burt,

I’ve done some figures in excel, which appear to blow away your myth that “only customers who win virtually all of the time”
will be effected.

Assuming a customer wins just 50% of the time.

934 bets over 60 weeks, ie approx 2 bets a day.

50% win rate with average winnings of £1000
50% loss rate with average loss of £800

ie winnings are approx 20% bigger than losses.

assuming commision = 3%
total gross profit = £93,600
total net profit = £79,560

(total commison + implied commision) / 2 = £25,272 / 2 = £12, 636

commision / total gross profit = £12,636 / £93,600 = 13.5%

Premium Commsion % = 20% - 13.5% = 6.5%

Premium Commison = 6.5% * £93,600 = £6,084

Total Premium Commision = £6,084 - £1,000 = £5,084

Increase in betfair commision = £5,084 / £12,636 = +40%
51.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 4:20 am51leaving on 22nd Sept

I have been with Betfair for 6 years but as from 22nd of September i too will be leaving to join Betdaq.
‘20% better odds, 20% commision’ should be your new slogan.
As for only affecting 1 in 200 people, a vast amount of BF accounts will hardly ever be used (ie people just signing up for the £25 fee bet, only to never bet again) so out of the million + members, the total number of ‘REGULAR’ Betfair users will be much, much less a figure.
What % of REGULAR users will be affected? You and i know it will be ALOT more that 0.5%.
The main reason i, and nearly all users use BF and not Betdaq, is liquidity. After Sept 22nd i can see alot less liquidly on BF and much much more on the purple site.
You and your big directors may think you will make a few £million with the increased charges short term, but long term? well that could well be a different matter.
Betdaq had better start getting new staff in ready for September 22nd.
52.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 4:30 am52Going

Bert

I have also been with Betfair since 2000 and have introduced many others to the benefits of Betfair.

That will change from 22 Sept and my business will move to Betdaq.

A sad day.
53.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 7:35 am53The Gambler.

Time to end your sabbattical Bert.
You and Mick Stone need to head back to base camp and sort this nonsense.
FFS you worked very hard to set up this company, and this could destroy your children’s inheritance.
Good Luck.
54.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 8:22 am54Jonny

Is the whole idea for betfair employed traders to take over markets?

Macedonia v Scotland

2.78 traders back. arbers lay. Mug punters back.

traders lay 2.58.

Traders leave betfair and are replaced by in house funds.

In new scenario

In house traders pushed Macedonia back out so no arb.

as a result no liquidity in market and that is the end

I am in tears Bert

I was going to start trading

Now that dream is over on betfair.

As an arber I may have to look for a new job

I work 15 hours a day Bert, 7 days a week.

Would you want to give 20% of your win to someone?
55.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 8:24 am55Frog

‘I don’t know the fine detail but my understanding is that there is virtually no risk to the customer here. This is a levy for customers who win virtually all of the time, and there aren’t many of those - anyone betting in the normal way is not going to qualify.’

This isnt true. Anyone who makes a high return through gambling and bets in over 250 markets one 60 week period will have to pay extra. If they lose the following 60 weeks bad luck. As the markets evolve over time this is bound to catch people out. It was one of the arguments Betfair themselves used when fighting off an extra tax on their customers by the government. People who win one year may lose the next. By demonstrating a method to ‘tax’ winning punters Betfair have showed the government a way to tax them as well.
56.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 8:25 am56Simple Simon

“I’m away from the company at the moment and I have been for a while”

Like Nero, fiddling while Rome burns. Better get back mate and sort those fuckers out. Although, from what I gather, you are actually one of those fuckers yourself. Build up the balance sheet before you go public. Do what it takes. Who gives a ****, we’ll have made our pile.
But suck on this Berty baby - there are some huge stories about internal fraud and corruption at Betfair just waiting for the right time to pop up. You know what I’m talking about - staff accessing successful clients accounts for their own ends. Know what I mean ? And if you don’t, you ******* well should.
57.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 8:54 am57Gareth

You helped to create something of true meaning, value and substance. Sadly peoples feeling towards betfair has now changed and I will be leaving the site unless the situation is resolved. It really is a sad day.
58.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 8:56 am58craig

So Bert, what do you think of Swindon’s start to the season ? Thought you might like a break from the betfair posts !!
59.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 9:02 am59Gareth

“I think that 20% is actually a very good deal - there aren’t many walks of life where you can get an 80-20 deal your way where the 20% side carry all the costs as well. It isn’t as good a deal as the one you had yesterday, but it’s still a good deal.”

What disappointing comments. It’s not an 80-20 deal at all. People can and do generally lose on betfair as you well know, so to add a further “take, take, take” when people do actually win over a period of time is very bad form.

This charge will hit many people using their own ability to win, and not just bots etc. I know this to be true. There are even a few non trader that will be hit. Like I said before, it’s a sad day for punters and it’s saddening that you would side with this injustice.

By all means suspend all bot accounts. It’s not difficult to spot them. The reality of course is that betfair would rather profit from these accounts than they be shut down. It’s a shame that this rather vague premium cost is going to hit honest punters as well as those using bots.
60.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 9:08 am60Jonny

But Gareth when the bots leave ,Betfair will have in house bots to replicate what their clients have been doing which is making money if the betfair traders get it right.
61.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 9:16 am61Gareth

You’re right Jonny. It’s just a way for them to cut themselves another large slice of the money cake. I’m not happy about it, and it is a lie for people to state that only bots and traders are impacted by this. It is simply not true.
62.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 9:20 am62Duncan Disordorli

Hi Bert…I started the thread below in General where it was suggested I ensured your viewing it by posting here. I realise that this is not what you want this blog used for, but the postings above reflect the feelings of many including myself.
I will not add (much !) to what is c/ped below, but I just wanted to say that if anything will remove me from Betfair it is this new charge. I am neither a trader nor bot user, but what I had thought an ideal Betfair (from their point of view) client. If there are thirty horseraces today I will probably play on 90 % of them…I win, I lose and the comm is paid without a murmur. On the days I break level, I have absolutely no problem with Betfair gaining maybe a ton. While I still haven`t had time to calculate the implications for me personally…I feel let down. Not because I won`t win as much in future,(as if that is a certain scenario ! ) but because I am being victimised. Just as bookies do when offering me derisory amounts. You surely can`t be content that any winning punter is being treated this way…or can you ?
Mark Davies once stated categorically that there was no place for bots on Betfair…how we all wish the company had kept to that statement. If they are the cause of any problems, then get rid if that is possible….but don`t penalise the tiny % of that minute 0.5 % that by their hard graft and financial risk do what once was considered all but impossible….making gambling pay. This is what Betfair stands for…your company Bert stands accused of destroying the very feature that made it the success it has become. It is an incredibly bad decision and if not refined (rather than done away with in its entirety…)then the fallout will be entirely of your board`s doing. The 99.5 % will still be there, but Betfair will lose many of the 0.5% and if that is the intention as it appears to me to be…then it is a sad day for many.
” Winners not welcome on Betfair…” …we believers could never have thought it possible.

Regards,

DD…..c/p follows…

Duncan Disordorli 08 Sep 20:52
Not had a real chance to work out the implications of this nor read the threads, but an absolutely astonishing own goal by Betfair.

Andrew….not sure if you read the forum, but come back from your sabbatical….leave the horseracing empires to Godolphin and O`Brien for a moment….take a deep breath and just reflect…that`s all, reflect on what the techies and money boys are doing to your wonderful company. I flatly refuse to believe that you have made this decision….nor indeed any of the visionaries that were there at the birth of THE greatest innovation ever in the industry.
This is not about a few of us paying Betfair a few extra quid in commission, this is about the sad spectacle of a company losing its way.

Treating customers who have the `audacity` to win like lepers has been perfected to an art form by almost all major bookmakers these days….but for Betfair to do the same…?? Say it ain`t so Andrew….say it ain`t so….

If ANYTHING will put your market share under severe threat it is decisions like this one. Nobody wants to leave this site….but I for one am astounded…nay, incredulous that you would have ever thought of penalising winners……the person or persons who made this decision have just destroyed the very essence of exchange betting.

A sad day indeed.

DD
63.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 9:56 am63Jonny

What should be the greatest concern is that people who are not big players are leaving. The core players. Bert I have spoken to loads of people last night and this morning.

They are not threatening to leave betfair. They have left.

This is a sad day.
64.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 10:05 am64Who?

Greedy twats
65.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 10:07 am65The Way It Is

8 years destroyed in one day, well done to the BF exec’s !!!!!!!
66.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 10:37 am66harry

A disgraceful reply from Bert, I do not what a bot is, nevermind how to operate one, I am not a trader but would expect to pay about £300 a week in premium charges on current figures but that’s apparently okay. Also no account will be taken of my heavy losses in previous years.
Here’s hoping Betfair goes bust.
67.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 10:43 am67pagsy

this will not be the end of betfair, but what a fantastic opporunity for betdaq, they need to take this by the horns, and get advertising
68.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 10:51 am68damaven

this is just another way for greedy ’suits’ to get their hands in customers’ pockets…you can rest assured that sooner rather than later there will be another commision hike…players are left with a clear choice, go on with ‘business as usual’ or make your feelings known business-wise by punishing betfair by no longer giving them any business…personally, i chose the latter option and withdrew my available to bet balance yesterday…if enough people did that than perhaps a message would be sent that ‘we’re not going to take it’, to quote from the movie/play/album ‘tommy’
69.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 10:54 am69Warren

They idea that it only affects 0.5% is laughable, maybe 0.5% of total accounts but not of active ones.
Sad day for Betfair this, I dont know the details of your sabbatical but you need to get to grips with the bean counters who are destroying what you created.
70.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 11:03 am70Jarrod

To whom it may concern… i posted a handful of messages concerning the new premium fee on the betfair forum. I didn’t use vulgar language, I didn’t misrepresent the truth, I just gave an honest view. Now I am unable to post to the forum. I tried various browsers and still no lucky. This has never happened before and I am left to conclude that I have been banned for sharing my opinion. Way to go betfair.
71.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 11:45 am71Anon

“As far as the greed comments are concerned - it is normal business practice to change and optimise charges. The exec at Betfair think they have been undercharging and this is a move to rectify the balance.”

Oh come on. You’re smarter than that, surely. “Normal business practice” is usually constrained by competition.

And this line about Betfair being a “business” is a bit naive too. We’re all “businesses” individually on Betfair, aren’t we? We are all motivated by self interest. The difference is traders operate in a highly competitive environment whereas Betfair don’t as yet, but probably soon will.

And if you think the only costs of being a successful trader are the costs of an internet conection then you are somewhat behind the times. Getting yourself to the front of the queue requires a lot of time, effort and expense.

Bottom line, the “exec” have made a mistake. They’ve handed a coup to their competitors. I’m already talking to developers to look into building apps for the other exchanges.
72.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 11:56 am72Dan

I don’t see how anyone can defend Betfair’s position (Bert!) - it’s indefensible. Most of us on Betfair are not city traders making millions to whom 40% doesn’t affect their lifestyle. The 20% is effectively going to kill off some punter’s livelihoods.
Why betfair want to drive away the bigger punters and especially the traders (bot or otherwise) is beyond me - they create the liquidity for the whole system. So much for them being the ‘brightest minds in the industry”…
73.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 11:56 am73New Betdaq customer

I’ve had a few quotes in already for some simple trading apps for Betdaq and they [Betdaq] have returned my call quickly for more information. It turns out some free apps will be available soon anyway, so this would appear to be the start of a major shift in the market. I enjoyed Betfair for eight years but this move shows it is clearly time to move on as Betfair didn’t even have the courtesty to warn or discuss with me the implications. Given how much I will pay under the new scheme that’s disgusting.
74.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 12:16 pm74lastfiver

To all the recent posters.

Please be a bit more skilful with your written English when posting to Berts blog. As Bert has maintained this Blog is for his racing interest not a forum for Betfair. It is totally unacceptable to write malicious things about him personally. Please take your anger elsewhere.
I am as surprised as anyone with the letter and introduction of the premium charging. I guess that most of the users who are on here saying they will leave and go to Betdaq totally misunderstand the dynamics and the workings of an Exchange even more so than possibly the Betfair PR team misunderstood what the reaction would be to the letter.
As someone who doesn’t use an Exchange currently but having done so from the start of Flutter and Betfair my one overriding view is that the Betting Exchange is a natural market where there are different types of users. By picking on one group will have a serious knock on effect, even if it is thought that it won’t.
Bert, I’m sorry that some people are both rude and extremely thick and hope that any comments don’t stop you from posting.
Good luck
P.S. I’m not sure that I would have introduced a premium charge…sounds to similar to a Bookmakers letter that says “we don’t want your business any more”…something I thought the Exchange was built to circumnavigate. I definitely wouldn’t have sent out the letter and made the changes during a credit crunch where users want to bet more. Gamblers always bet expecting to win if new users think they will have to pay more as they ‘will be successful’ it may make them go elsewhere.
75.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 1:26 pm75Fred

I posted my dissatisfaction early on the betfair forum and was silenced also, didn’t post anything overly negative just said I wasn’t happy and they took away my posting rights.

Having said that I will certainly be making my feelings known on many other forums, blogs and will be contacting the media (and encouraging others do so) regarding this injustice and betfairs utter contempt towards their customers.

I don’t believe they can claim better odds than bookmakers any longer in their advertising, this would be deception and I can imagine many complaints to the likes of the ASA and the OFT.

Even with the odds on their site I don’t think they should be allowed to show 2.00 for an Even money shot after these new rules come into play, it will be blatant deception.

Under their new scheme you could well be getting 4/5 for Even money if you are on a good run and had a few winners.

As I understand it anyone could have made some level of profit over the last 60 weeks.

And then you back four ‘Even money’ winners in a week, then are hammered with a 20% premium charge at the end of the week meaning you actually got 4/5 odds on the selections.

I believe all the nonsense about £1,000 allowance over 60 weeks, 250 markets is nothing but diversion/confusion tactics to get people away from their true intentions.

£1,000 allowance over 60 weeks? Give me a break. That is a £16.66 per week allowance. Clearly a diversion/confusion tactic by betfair to hide their true intentions.

Another thing is if you make £1,000 profit one week, then lose £1,000 the next week - what happens then?

Do they take 20% from you when you make a £1,000 profit, but they won’t compensate you 20% when you lose £1,000 in a week?

This is clearly unfair as is akin to theft, maybe time for us to start getting the likes of the Office Of Fair Trading (OFT) involved.

What is needed is weight of numbers, it is no us point moaning on the betfair forum where they will just silence anyone who wants to start action against them and appears to be making any moves against them.

If enough people start complaining to the likes of the OFT, start contacting the media outlets I do think we can do something about this injustice.

They have happily taken hundreds of millions of pounds of us in commissions over the years, taken our money based on advertising and promising us that their odds were “better than the bookmakers” and they reward winners.

As far as I am concerned if they go ahead with this ridiculous 20% charge this is deception and they have been taking our money all this time on false pretences and deceptive advertising.

Time for media involvement and punters to take a stand against this, the authorities need to look into this.
76.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 1:37 pm76Anon

“I guess that most of the users who are on here saying they will leave and go to Betdaq totally misunderstand the dynamics and the workings of an Exchange”

Care to guess again?
77.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 1:46 pm77Harryboy

At the end of the day Andrew Black did not make this decision, it was the powers that be at Betfair towers who made it. Bit unfair to lay into him. If you were in his position you would defend the company you set up no matter what.
Dont get me wrong, I am totally against Betfair’s decision but we need to be venting our anger at them rather than Black. It’s just a shame they have gone silent on the whole issue.
78.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 2:04 pm78arbaday

Got to pay for the shareholders bubbly somehow
glug glug glug
79.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 2:13 pm79Fred

We don’t need to go to Betdaq, I believe we need to go the AUTHORITIES!

Us brits are far too soft, in places like the USA if this sort of nonsense takes place by any corporation trying to screw the public - the people fight back and get the authorites, the media involved and get justice.

It is almost criminal what they are planning on doing when you break it down and think about it rationally.

Betfair basically want a 20% stake in our betting activities.

BUT….

If we WIN, then oh yes….”by the way you owe me 20% of your profit I have a stake in your trading” is betfairs attitude.

If we lose, they suddenly aren’t a 20% partner. We have to absorb the losses for the week. How convenient.

It is disgusting, if anyone created this sort of BS contract/partnership in any business where you are only a stake holder when things are going well it would be thrown out in court!

It is DELIBERATELY on a weekly basis so they can screw the MAXIMUM amount of money out of us.

They know many punters will have some good weeks and they intend to pinch 20% when things are going well, when things aren’t you are on your own.

If they could get away with it they would probably do it on a bet by bet or daily basis, but that would be too obvious what they are up to.

Even if the premium charges were on a monthly, or annual basis it would still be ridiculous.

You could easily lose the next month/year, and when you do they suddenly aren’t a 20% partner.

It is unfair trading - which means we must complain to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)

I have been contacting the big media outlets today and they are very interested in this story, this needs to get into the public arena they can’t be allowed to get away with this.

The people at the top of these corporations aren’t so smug and bigheaded once the stories start appearing in the media and they start coming under fire!
80.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 2:15 pm80fred

you see that 5% commision rate is just to hoik them, in, a big fat juicy worm to the fish. once youre caught, thats it
81.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 2:28 pm81lastfiver

Not really.
Simple concept.
Winners migrate to Betdaq.
Margins for Betdaq layers fall.
Less liquidity.
Less profit.
Nobody wins.
It’s why I say that it’s a natural market.
All that happens is that both exchanges suffer. Nobody is a winner.
To counter act, Betdaq have to do massive advertising campaign to bring in fish and then when they are making money they will probably introduce a premium charge.
I’m against the charge but don’t think this is the place for the argument.
82.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 2:30 pm82Fred

GOOD POST I FOUND ON BETFAIR

Far too much flack on here to have read everything, but has anyone considered the legality of this new premium charge?

Surely the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations covers this type of ‘robbery’.

What BF are proposing is that up to 10 days after an event has happened and been concluded they can come along and take upto 18% of your profit from a transaction and actually not do any more work on that transaction. The Banks are in court over similar activities and they at least wrote you a letter before stealing your money.
83.
on 09 Sep 2008 at 2:38 pm83Volyme

Hundred of millions MARKET MAKERS (some people call them also
traders) money will be leaving by 22. September and I am quite sure they will never return even if you remove ridiculous winners tax. You have pis*ed off your best clients (even if you think they are the worse cos they win too much too quickly) but soon it will be hard for smaller punters get bets matched because liquidity is poor and book is like lay 1,22 and back 1,35. The truth is many don’t really have clue what the price should and none is brave enough to back or lay.
End of the year hopefully most of the money have moved elsewhere. Remember guys most of big players will withdraw their funds 22. day and then move to new site, so don’t judge it too soon.

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