Betfair are probably best known for their betting exchange, which allows you to bet directly against other punters.However, they also have an excellent online casino which we got a little carried away with writing about when we were preparing this review!
There are some quick stats on the casino at the top right of this page, and you can use the links below to jump directly to a section…
|Licencing and Security|
As is common with multiple gambling threads, the different parts of Betfair’s site are licenced in different jurisdictions. Their online casino is licenced by the well-respected Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta, so you’re well protected as a player on that front.
The company is also listed on the main London Stock Exchange – this probably won’t mean much to most people, but with this listing comes an additional level of assurance on the safety of depositing your money to play with Betfair. Not only can you look through their accounts (which go into a lot of detail about their plans and systems & controls that they have in place to run the company), but also there’s an annual audit, part of which includes the auditors signing off that they’re satisfied that the company can continue to run for at least the next year – not something you can say about many of the smaller casino operations out there.
If that wasn’t enough, in terms of your money, Betfair hold customer money in a separate trust fund, so that even if the worst were to happen to the company, your money would still be safe. You can even read the document that governs the trust on their website.
From a technical standpoint, Betfair use industry standard encryption tools to ensure that your data and transactions are safe. Additionally they have committed themselves to maintaining the standards set out by ISO 27001 and PCI-DSS security standards.
Finally, there’s the increased sense of security that you get with a familiar name/brand. There’s nothing tangible about this, but nevertheless, it exists.
Betfair Casino’s main software is provided by Playtech, one of the leading casino software providers in the world. This is used to power their Downloadable Casino as well as many of the Instant Play games available on the site. Playtech also provide the dealers for Betfair’s Live Casino where you can choose from Roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat. There is also a Mobile Casino available for both iPhone and Android smartphones.
However, like many of the larger online gaming operations, Betfair also have a selection of games available from other casino software makers – these are to be found on the “Arcade” and “Super Slots” tabs of their homepage menu. These include classic favourites such as Ca$hino, Cleopatra and many more.
You can also play Virtual Sports (Horses, Dogs and “World Cup Scores”). Betfair also have their own games which they call “Exchange Games” – these are games like Blackjack or Roulette, but instead of playing as a player, you only get to bet on the outcome, but it does mean you can back whoever you like.
While we’re here, let’s touch briefly on the other services that you’ll find on their website. Poker is provided via the Ongame Network which gives you access to plenty of other players to try your skills against.
Clearly the biggest focus on the site though is on the sports betting front. Betfair is different to other bookmakers in that instead of betting against the house and their team of experts, you are matched up with another punter who thinks the opposite of you. You can offer any terms that you like and if someone wants to take those terms, your bet is on. Similarly, you can browse through the exchange and see what odds other people have offered on massive range of sports and events.
There’s also in-play betting, which they’ve tied into the exchange with an innovative “Cash out” feature – this uses bets that are available in the in-play market to let you cash out before the end of the game. The amount that you can cash out will vary as the event unfolds, and there’s a total which is updated regularly. Click on the cash out total and you’ll close out your main bet and collect the total that was displayed when you clicked – useful if you lose your nerve halfway through a game!
As you would expect, Betfair supports the major payment methods, and doesn’t really have a large selection of the e-wallets available for use. Currently these include: VISA, VISA Electron, Mastercard, Delta, Solo, Maestro, PayPal, NETeller, Skrill (Moneybookers), Click and Buy, Western Union as well as standard bank transfers and cheques (no point using the American spelling since US customers unfortunately aren’t accepted here).
Processing times for both withdrawals and deposits, as well as minimum values and any fees that are payable are all set out in a nice table for you to compare all of Betfair’s Payment Methods in one go. Withdrawal times can vary from ‘Max 24 hours’ to ‘3-5 working days’, with the quickest options being as usual NETeller, PayPal or Skrill (Moneybookers).
Something to be aware of from their terms and conditions “We have a number of controls and checks that take place before any withdrawal request is processed by Betfair. These checks are part of our ongoing commitment to maintaining the security of our customers’ funds. All withdrawals requests are therefore only processed after the expiry of a period of 12 hours from the withdrawal request being made.”
Customer service, as you would expect is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, though it’s not always clear as to how to get in touch since I guess they’d prefer you to use their extensive FAQ first. Whilst these are extremely helpful, including videos and explanations as well as answers to many common questions, you might still want to get hold of someone.
First option is at the top right of the help screen – a link that says “Still need help? Contact Us”. This takes you to a text based form where they promise to get back to you within 4 hours. If you dig around for a bit though, you can find numbers and an email address for a helpdesk
UK: 0844 871 7000
Australia: 1300 238 324
Ireland: 1 800 944 000
International: +44 20 7074 7272
Though perhaps accessing their customer service could be a little clearer, Betfair’s comprehensive casino offering means that all of your gaming needs can be catered for under one virtual roof. Add in the reputability and size of their company, and their excellent betting exchange, which often has the best odds available online (mainly due to you being able to bet against other punters rather than against the bookies themselves) you’ll be struggling for a reason not to try Betfair out, so head on over there and take a look now.