Betfair Make Sportsbetting More Expensive

Betfair, the leading online betting exchange, has overhauled its rewards scheme. The move comes at a time when many new competitors are arriving into the marketplace putting Betfairs market dominant position under threat.

By: Mark Patrickson

Betfair is the largest exchange and in nearly all cases can offer better liquidity than its rivals. This is by far the biggest reason why many Betfair customers have stuck by them even with better commission rates to be found elsewhere. Now though, the market is starting to shift and Betfair appear to be acting accordingly to maintain the status quo.

Changing with the Times

The new rewards regime sees punters now able to choose from a number of different options. This allows customers to assess their usual betting routines in order to pick the best option for them.

Betfair has charged a flat 5% commission in the past with smaller exchanges sometimes offering a tiny 2% fee. Now Betfair is falling into line - but not without some trickery.

There are now three tiers of Betfair Rewards tied to the commission rate:

  • Basic (2% Commission) - On the face of it this looks to be the best deal, but if you choose it Betfair will lock you out of the cash race and all of the promos. Not only that but you will no longer be guaranteed the Best Odds deal on the sportsbook. The gold in this deal is for players who place a lot of lay bets every month.
  • Rewards (5% Commission) - This is almost the same as the previous deal but with some extra bells and whistles. A few extra spins and some free bets and plays is all you can expect. Probably unlikely to be the best deal for the vast majority of players.
  • Rewards+ (8% Commission) - Players who like to place lay bets will avoid this deal like the plague. The idea behind this tier seems to be to attract customers who lose money overall and sweeten them with a 10% cashback on any losses. This tier offers the most bonuses and freebies but in pure value terms they are said to be worthless.

Fact of Life

As poker players we are always concerned about the effect of rake on our long-term profitability. It’s exactly the same for sports bettors but many people don’t give it a second thought if they only bet infrequently.

There is a chance that this move by Betfair could set off counter moves at the smaller exchanges further reducing the cost of placing bets. Wouldn’t we love to see a rake war in the online poker world?

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