We (exchange traders) should all be worried when Betfair is struggling to find it’s own arse using both hands. I’ve had 4 emails from Betfair in the last week or so that sums up their general incompetence but that is the least of my worries.
Let’s deal with the relatively minor issue of the emails.
Here is the first one.
Hooray I’m a winner! LOL, I trade currently at £2 stakes as I’m still honing my in-running skills so the amount I bet is relativity small. When I last got a cash race bonus is was £2 or £3. So this didn’t excite me too much but hey free money is free money right? Wrong see email 2 below.
No big deal I wasn’t too bothered about the £2 but I had to cancel the coffee I’d just ordered at McDonalds. That should have been the end of it but three days later I got this email.
A long while ago I got gubbed by the Betfair Sportsbook due to my matched betting activities and now they were telling me I was banned form exchange promotions as well.
This worried me more because since I’ve taken up trading I have virtually stopped all but the very best matched betting opportunities and I’ve been dedicating virtually all my free time to learning how to trade. The fact that Betfair might start restricting my activities on the exchange was of much bigger concern than losing access to the Sportsbook.
Anyway I needn’t have worried because a mere eight days later I got this email.
Seriously Betfair WTF are you playing at. Surely someone in a company the size of yours has the ability to sort out your auto-email system?
All the above email nonsense doesn’t really make any difference to me in the grand scheme of things but the issue below does.
Big Issues with Betfair
The two big problems for Traders are “Rule 4 Reduction Factors” and the API crashing.
Their recent attitude towards the exchange crashing shows they really don’t give a monkeys about traders. Sportsbook users yes, but traders not so much and in-running traders like me even less.
There is no more frightening thing than laying a horse to lose inplay only for the API to crash before you can get your back bet matched.
As an in-running trader 99% of the time I place a Lay bet 1st and the Back bet to trade out afterwards. If the site crashes after I’ve placed lay bets I am really exposed.
There is no risk for Betfair so they really don’t give a shit.
The second big issue is the “Reduction Factor” that Betfair applies. From my own selfish viewpoint I don’t trade pre-race anymore and there is no rule 4 reduction on in-running for me to worry about. That’s not the point though, Betfair are not treating traders fairly with this.
The way they calculate theirs is different to the way bookies do it and although I’ve tried to read up on this Betfair method they are pretty good at making it so complicated that it takes someone cleverer than me to understand it yet alone explain it.
All you need to know is that their is no risk to Betfair, lots of risk for traders and absolutely no loss of commission for Betfair.
The fact that having unfair rules and dodgy software doesn’t cost them anything is the main factor in them doing sod all to improve things.
If every-time the site crashed they had to refund commission to people then you could bet your entire bank roll they’d be a lot keener to improve things.
Don’t get me wrong compared to a standard bookmaker I think betting or trading on an exchange is 100% better but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be trying to improve.
Being the market leader gives Betfair the “Liquidity” edge but they are not the only game in town. I downloaded the Bet Angel version of their Betdaq software a few weeks ago when Betfair crashed again and I use it almost every day now. I’m sure that Betdaq’s numbers will grow if Betfair don’t improve.
I run my own small business and when I deal with a huge company like Betfair it really annoys me that they can make mistakes (see emails above) and just think we’re so big we don’t care about you the little guy.
Their thinking seems to be “remember the golden rule, we have the gold so we make the rules”.