Are Betfair Phasing Out The Exchange?
I found it odd that I went to the main Betfair.com site yesterday and was immediately confused as to what to do.
I could not find the exchange!
This was until I looked closer and saw that there is now a small link “Go To Exchange” in the top left hand corner which is a pretty odd place to put it.
This looks like a clear sign to me that Betfair are no longer as interested in pushing the exchange as their main product anymore. Moving the link to the exchange to that part of the screen and making their “Sportsbook” their main product makes you feel they are going to be phasing the exchange out or at least focusing on it less.
I doubt Betfair will ever actually get rid of the exchange but moves like this will not help it to grow that is for sure.
Unless, they feel that they can attract more casual punters in via the sportsbook and then convert them into exchange users?
What makes all this worse is they are now pushing “Traditional” fractional odds on their main screen as opposed to decimal odds. Betfair played a huge part in making decimal odds more “mainstream” but this looks like another huge step back.
Who knows what they plan to do but it seems like Betfair are fast becoming the polar opposite of what they originally were.
You may remember lots of advertising from Betfair used to focus on the fact you were betting against other punters however those adverts are not to be seen now as they push their “cash out” function mainly.
It remains to be seen if this move by Betfair will affect the liquidity on the exchanges but I do fear it will mean there are less new traders getting involved in the long term as less people will actually know it even exists!
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This is what happens when you let the head of a bookmaker (Paddy Power) head Betfair. They have also sacked their entire education department and are following the bookmaker theme that an educated punter is not welcome. Betfair have removed education from Ireland as well and it is a matter of time before Australia go the same way.
The exchange is not a very profitable model for Betfair and they tried to address it with the Premium charge but that failed so they have cut back on all no profitable areas as the focus switches from customers to shareholders.
I have been saying for a long time Betfair were going to become a corporate bookmaker and that is exactly what has happened.
Interesting stuff, thanks Badger.
What a shame, Betfair is all about the exchange. I for one hope they don,t go down that road. Betfair is unique and I think they should stay as they are. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
Maybe it’s just a sign that they have invested quite a big money into this new project and they probably don’t want to totally mess out with it.
The fastest and easiest way to promote it is this way. I don’t get too bothered on this matter because they make big profits with their 5% commissions anyway…
Been like this for about six months! That is why matched bet volume on the exchange is dropping, no new customers.
The bottom line is shareholders. The share price has halved since the float opened at about 1500 and went down below 600 in August 2011 before rallying in March 2012 then diving again and is now at 845 and slowly diving after a recent short recovery. Not a good time to be buying Betfair.
They are not actively seeking new clients despite the rubbish they spout that they are and all efforts are being driven to the sports book. The bottom line is they want you to bet with them, and not with each other as it is more profitable as they can bet on a margin of 108% instead of taking 5% of each bet.
They save a load of money by not having an education department and the shareholders are happy.
The exchange income will dwindle as the liquidity dries up and it will soon become unprofitable as the cost of the API and the technical staff to run it and maintain it means it will go the way of the Dodo.
So enjoy it while you can, I give it less than two years and we will be back trying to gain an edge with the bookmakers or betting illegally again.
To say the exchange model is unprofitable is laughable, especially considering Betfair have grown to a multimillion pound company on the back of it with a lot lower liquidity than now. Betfair has become far too bloated and needed to cut back on certain things, anyone new or already in the market place will be able to learn from Betfair’s previous mistakes and benefit form the legislation changes they’ve paid heavily for already.
Anyone predicting the demise of exchange betting is out of touch and giving it less than two years is ridiculous. The sooner Betfair drop the exchange the better, any gaps left by their departure will soon be filled by other innovative companies.