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is licensed in the UK, Malta, Australia and Italy.
Betfair is one of the first online gaming organisations
to gain the internationally recognised ISO/IEC
27001:2005 Information Security Management System
Betfair Ltd is a limited liability company registered
in England and Wales, number 5140986
to Pink Pigeon Race, punters urged - 3rd January
The Sydney Morning Herald)
has a new race to stop the nation but this time
the competitors have wings.
elite racing pigeons will be flapping it out on
Monday in The Great Betfair Pink Pigeon Race launched
aim is to raise dollars for breast care nurses
in rural and regional Australia.
will go to the McGrath Foundation - named after
Jane McGrath, the late wife of Australian cricketer
Glenn McGrath, who died from breast cancer
inaugural event at Glenn McGrath Oval in Narromine,
in NSW's central west, is a 30km race that will
finish at the tiny wheat town of Trangie on day
three of the Sydney Test between Australia and
South Africa - renamed Jane McGrath Day by Cricket
will be able to place bets on the pigeons named
after the Nine Network's cricket commentary team
through online betting exchange Betfair.
spokesman Hugh Taggart said the event was starting
in the hometown of the Glenn "Pidge"
hope the Great Betfair Pigeon Race captures the
imagination of the Australian public and becomes
an annual event on the Australian sporting calendar
for many years to come," Mr Taggart said.
over Betfair cricket ads, by Natasha Robinson-
27th Dec 2008
Nine Network has caused a furore for allowing
online betting agency Betfair to advertise during
the Boxing Day Test, with campaigners furious
that the plugs -- including one by cricket legend
Ritchie Benaud -- expose children and teenagers
Vision head Tim Costello and South Australian
senator Nick Xenophon said yesterday they were
shocked to see Betfair's strong presence on advertising
billboards at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Costello, who was at the MCG yesterday, said he
was "very worried" about the potential
for children who viewed the Betfair advertising
to go home and gamble online without their parents'
got families and kids here," Mr Costello
said. "Of course gambling is part of life,
but I think when it's a family cultural event
like the Boxing Day Test, the advertising is inappropriate."
said he was particularly concerned at the way
Benaud had quoted Betfair's odds during his commentary,
broadcast live around the nation on the Nine Network
truth is we know that gambling addiction breaks
up families, causes crime and comes at a huge
social cost," Mr Costello said. "When
it's a family event like the cricket, when it's
being broadcast live and kids are listening to
it, it is overstepping the mark. It's inappropriate
certainly for kids at a family event."
Xenophon, who was elected as a South Australian
senator at the last federal poll largely on an
anti-gambling platform, described the online gambling
world as the "wild west" and called
on the Rudd Government to impose regulations on
gambling such as Betfair has the potential to
deliver the next wave of problem gamblers,"
very little regulation in relation to advertising.
Gambling advertising ought to carry with it warnings,
and we ought to be looking at restrictions similar
to those that apply to cigarettes and alcohol."
Xenophon agreed with Mr Costello that the ability
for online betting agencies to advertise at the
cricket threatened the Boxing Day match's family-
riendly status. "It's a shame for the great
game of cricket that it's been reduced to just
another event to have a punt on," Senator
Xenophon said. "It diminishes the great game
publicity officer did not return calls yesterday.
Xenophon said he had concerns that online betting
on sporting matches could expose sports to corruption
and match-fixing. A spokesman for Betfair last
night declined to respond to the criticisms made
by Mr Costello and Senator Xenophon, but the agency
has strongly argued in the past that it has safeguards
in place to guard against corruption, the risk
of which is increased because punters have the
chance to bet on a team's loss as well as a win.
tipped off the Australian Football Federation
last week that Socceroos Kevin Muscat and Craig
Moore, as well as Melbourne Victory midfielder
Grant Brebner, had bet on soccer matches, in breach
2000, South African captain Hansie Cronje was
banned from cricket for life after admitting he
took bribes from bookmakers to fix games.
Shane Warne and Mark Waugh were fined by the Australian
Cricket Board after being offered inducements
to give pitch and weather reports on Australia's
tour of Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1994.
is the world's leading sports betting exchange,
a concept it pioneered in 2000. All bets on Betfair
are placed by users who either want to bet for
a selection or outcome in the normal way (back),
or bet against a selection or outcome (lay). Bets
are matched between people with opposing views.
Betfair is a licensed bookmaker in the UK. It
also has licences in Australia, Malta, Austria
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is the world's largest Internet betting exchange.
The company is based in the borough of Hammersmith
and Fulham in London, England.
Since Betfair was launched in June 2000 it has become
the largest online betting company in the UK and the
largest bet exchange in the world. Betfair currently
has over 1,000,000 clients and a turnover in excess
bet exchange allows punters (gamblers) to bet at odds
set and requested by other punters rather than by
a bookmaker. Members can make both 'Back' bets (normal
bets on a selection to win) and 'Lay' bets (bets on
the opposite side of the Back, against the selection),
thereby eliminating the traditional bookmaker.
uses decimal odds, which are easier to calculate with
than fractional odds. Its bookmaking model brings
together two counterparties with opposing views, and
thus removes the need for a bookmaker's markup or
overround. As a result, the odds are up to 20% better
than bookmakers' odds, according to the site's operators.[citation
needed] Betfair punters are able to offer odds based
on their own opinion rather than on a set bookmakers'
margin. Betfair charges a commission on all winning
bets, which is set at 5% of the net winnings for most
markets--though it is possible to earn discounts.
company has attracted much comment in the British
and Australian press. Its co-founders, Andrew Black
and Edward Wray, won the Ernst and Young Emerging
Entrepreneur of the Year award. More recently the
company was recognised by the Department of Trade
& Industry when it was given a Queen's Award,
the most prestigious business award in the UK.
October 2005 chief executive Stephen Hill announced
his resignation when the board decided not to proceed
with plans for a stock market flotation, the investors
holding out for a higher valuation.
November 2005 the Tasmanian government announced a
deal to licence Betfair in the state. The deal will
see Tasmania receive AU$5 million up front and is
projected to pay Tasmania about $40 million per year.
Now that it has been approved by the Tasmanian Parliament,
it will be the second licence Betfair has received
outside the UK - the first being in Malta. The deal
has infuriated the established monopolistic totalisers
and bookmakers (due to loss of revenue) and governments
(due to loss of taxes) in the other Australian states.
A ban on the use of betting exchanges took effect
in Western Australia on the 29th January 2007 and
possibly South Australia in the future. Betfair claims
this new law violates the Constitution of Australia
and filed a legal challenge which remains before the
28 February 2006 Betfair launched a new interface,
including current live scores of in-play soccer matches,
jockey silks and horse form, and an 'express view'
in which only the currently available back odds are
viewable. Within two days the 'Xpress' idea was also
adopted by BETDAQ. The changes were criticised on
the Betfair forums by many members who disliked the
smaller fonts and the right-aligned columns, which
displayed a large amount of whitespace. On March 1
these display issues were addressed, although many
users still felt the site had been dumbed down in
order to attract new punters to the exchanges. The
gambit worked, however, with a significant increase
in membership and deposits during the Cheltenham Festival.
purchased 23% of Betfair in early April 2006 valuing
the company at £1.5 billion.
The fact that gamblers can now lay outcomes on the
exchanges has caused tremendous criticism from traditional
bookmakers with much of the anger coming from the
UK's "Big Three" - Gala Coral Group, Ladbrokes
and William Hill. These firms argue that granting
who they consider to be anonymous punters the ability
to bet that an outcome will not happen is causing
corruption in sports such as horse racing (since it
is much easier to ensure a horse will lose a race,
the bookmakers reason).
has led their defence by countering that while corruption
is possible on any gambling platform, the bookies'
arguments are motivated not by concern for the integrity
of sport but by commercial interests. Betfair also
asserts that unlike the high street brokers, who all
accept anonymous cash bets, Betfair is well aware
of who their customers are. Customers are required
to create personal accounts, and Betfair keeps records
of each customer's betting history. Betfair in particular
has noted that they have signed numerous agreements
with governing bodies of sport including the Jockey
Club, with whom they insist they will co-operate fully
if the latter suspects corruption to have taken place.
Betfair handles 5,000,000 transactions every day -
more than the London, New York and Tokyo Stock Exchanges
combined. On occasions, the site
has been unavailable as the company performs upgrades
to the software. While these suspensions in service
are often planned and announced to Betfair's customers
before they are due to take place, at other times
the site has been known to crash unexpectedly.
traditional punters, a crash might be little more
than an annoyance, but unexpected outages are of particular
concern for the so-called traders - customers who
typically bet on both sides of a proposition in an
attempt to make money by capitalising on changes in
the odds. Unlike most stock exchanges which charge
a commission for every transaction, Betfair only charges
commission on the net "winnings" which for
a trader who will typically be no more than 5% of
the amount "bet" - so to try and make substantial
amounts of money a trader needs to commit a significant
amount of capital. The bulk of a trader's capital
can be protected if he "closes" any "open"
position before the match/race being bet on begins.
But if the website crashes shortly before the start
of the race/match and the trader is unable to close
his open positions, his capital will be in serious
the traders happy is probably very important to Betfair
because they are believed to be the primary source
of capital in the client accounts, which is what provides
the liquidity that Betfair's competitors have not
yet been able to match. Betfair have acknowledged
these "unplanned outages" and attributed
them to technical and hardware issues.
Betfair outside the United Kingdom
Although the bulk of its customer base is in the UK,
Betfair offers its services in a number of countries.
Betfair has never accepted customers and/or credit
card numbers from the United States, where online
gambling is legally proscribed. Being the leading
betting exchange, Betfair has been reluctant to entangle
itself in legal trouble and has thus turned away business
from countries where its services are likely prohibited.
As a result, unlike some other online gambling operations
Betfair was not seriously affected when the U.S. Congress
passed strict prohibitions affecting Internet gambling
in late 2006.
has several thousand customers in Australia but its
marketing activities are currently restricted to Tasmania,
where it is licensed. Betfair is well known in Australia
because of negative publicity from the racing industry
and the totalizators. However, Betfair signed a landmark
agreement with Racing Victoria in July 2006 which
saw Betfair begin covering Victorian racing and left
the exchange on decent terms with two of Australia's
six states. Betfair also has agreements in place with
several major spors in Austrlaiam including the Australian
Football League, Cricket Australia and the PGA Tour
In late autumn of 2005, Betfair finalised a deal that
began in early summer, to purchase the online poker
site PokerChamps.com, which the company will integrate
into its network, replacing a poker arm that previously
used gaming technology software from CryptoLogic Inc.
On 30 October 2006, Betfair Poker left the Cryptologic
network to move to its new platform.
a press release the company's poker head, Ben Fried,
stated: "Having our own poker software puts us
in command of our own destiny. It means we can react
quickly to customer feedback and continue to develop
an innovative, community-focused product. We are confident
that we are laying the foundations of a market leading
21 July 2006, all American accounts were frozen and
the return of players' funds were in progress, a move
that immediately followed the arrest of David Carruthers,
former Chief Executive at BETonSPORTS. Betfair had
previously implemented geo-location software in 2004
to deny U.S. residents the ability to place bets on
In 2006 Betfair Casino introduced its "Zero lounge
- where the house has no edge". According to
Betfair, perfect play should result in the player
having an equal chance of winning or losing. For example,
the Roulette wheel has no zero. This means that someone
playing red-black, odd-even, or high-low has an exactly
50% chance of winning, (as opposed to a 48.65% chance
on a normal Roulette wheel with a zero). However,
in some games, such as Blackjack, it is necessary
to learn perfect play in order to match the house.
Bad players, (e.g. players who draw a card when they
have 17 or more), are likely to lose money to the
house. The zero Blackjack rules have been slightly
modified (re-written) compared to normal European
Blackjack. For example natural suited Blackjacks pay
2 to 1 instead of 1.5 to 1, Any five card 21 automatically
pays 2-1, Pairs of Aces cannot be split, all other
pairs can be split, including 4s, 5s, and 10s, only
one split is allowed, doubling is allowed on 8, 9,
10 and 11, including "soft" 18s, 19s, 20s
and 21s, and insurance can be taken any time the dealer
shows an ace, no matter what cards the player holds.
games offered in the Zero lounge are Blackjack, Roulette,
Baccarat and Jacks or Better.
is the world's leading betting exchange, a concept
bets on Betfair are placed there by users who
either want to bet for a selection or outcome
in the normal way (back), or bet against a selection
or outcome (lay). Bets are matched between people
with opposing views.
is a licensed bookmaker in the UK. It also has
licences in Australia, Malta, Austria and Germany.
offers you unprecedented choice, value and control.
You can bet that an outcome will happen (back)
or that it won't happen (lay).
* You can choose the odds you want to play at.
* You can bet whilst the game is in play.
do I use the Exchange?
you "back" a selection (be it an individual,
a team, horse, dog or other), you are betting
that it will win. This is just like betting with
a conventional bookie.
you "lay" it, you are betting against
it winning. For example, if you're betting in
a market on which team is going to win the Premiership
and you lay Sydney Swans, you offer odds to other
punters who wish to back Sydney Swans. If Sydney
Swans don't win, then you pick up the backer's
stake. If Sydney Swans wins, then you pay out.
This is what bookmakers traditionally do.
Betfair knows who is on each side of every bet
matched through the exchange, you never know who
you are betting against. Your privacy and the
confidentiality of your bets is maintained by
Betfair's secure site.
you want better odds than are currently available,
you can place an order for a better price, but
be realistic because there has to be somebody
prepared to lay the bet at those odds, and vice
a look at the odds before an event and you will
see them change as Betfair members back and lay
their bets. The odds often improve nearer to the
off as the number of people in the market increases.
is licensed by the Tasmanian Gaming Commission.