If you are looking for similar sites to Betfair, we’ve put together a quick Betfair competitor comparison.
You can either read on for a summary of similar Betfair sites or compare betting exchanges in our comparison tables.
Here are the top three sites similar to Betfair.
Firstly, what is Betfair?
When it comes to well-known betting exchanges, there is no denying that Betfair tops the list. They have a solid reputation as one of the best known and most respected betting exchanges in the world and were founded in the late ’90s by Andrew Black and Edward Wray, two keen participants in the gambling industry.
They proposed an idea that was pretty revolutionary at the time: an alternative to traditional bookmakers and gambling. Instead, they introduced a betting exchange, a plan that is designed to work in a way similar to typical stock exchanges.
One player would initiate a wager, using specific odds and a particular price, and this wager is then posted to the exchange. If another player liked the look of the deal, they could agree to make the wager, and the bet then took place between the two players. Betfair would take a small fee as a commission, but the transaction was entirely player to player. This concept was a massive departure from the traditional gambling model, which saw a player place a wager against the bookmaker.
The site was launched in 2000, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, incurred the wrath of bookmakers across the country. This reaction was hardly helped by the initial advertising campaign, which saw Wray and Black dressed as gangsters, making their way behind a funeral procession in which a coffin, representing the bookmakers, paraded through the streets of London. The message was crystal clear: this was a brand new betting model, designed to change the face of the gambling market forever.
While the bookmakers may have been unhappy, the campaign was considered an enormous success. Word spread like wildfire across the industry, and the negative responses only increased the publicity of the brand. As the old adage goes, all publicity is good publicity, and many curious punters started to create accounts in order to see just what the fuss was about.
At the time, Betfair had just one major competitor: Flutter, a rival betting exchange. The market was still shiny and new, and the primary key to success for both sites was the ability to attract players in order to post and accept wagers; without a respectable amount of participants, the whole site would fail. Logic dictated, therefore, that the two sites should merge two to become one single exchange. This move not only eliminated the issues of competition but also increased the prospective customer base, making success far more likely. Betfair was the more successful site at the time, and so used a small amount of their capital to purchase Flutter, with the transaction occurring in January 2002.
Another conflict arose shortly after, this time concerning the eligibility of players from the USA. Many bookmakers and betting sites were taking full advantage of the fact that the US was a vast area in terms of gambling laws, and so had the potential to be very lucrative for the right clients. Wray and Black, however, remained wary and decided early on in the history of the brand that they would not accept any bets from the USA until the country reached a consensus on the legalities surrounding online gambling.
Their reluctance and hunch paid off; the 2006 UIGEA Act and the arrest of the owners of Bet on Sports occurred shortly after and would have had the potential to tarnish and even destroy the Betfair brand had they been involved or implicated. The strict refusal to allow US-based bets helped them avoid not only a major scandal but potentially the loss of their business.
Betfair grew from strength to strength in 2003 and 2004, with entrepreneur awards and business accolades being handed out left right and center, and the company continued to grow and expand. One of the main concerns was that the bets wagered were not being accepted at a high enough rate, a natural consequence of cutting out the bookmakers from the equation. With this in mind, Betfair realized fairly early on that they would need to add more strings to their bow to ensure continued long term success, and were smart enough to bide their time, waiting until they were secure and strong, and then striking out with new endeavors.
By 2004, they were in a strong market position, and this allowed them to start developing and adding new products to their range. The first new offering was a new poker site on the Cryptologic Poker Network: Betfair Poker. This act had two main advantages: players had an alternative way to spend their money and enjoy their time while they were waiting for the exchange to accept their bets, and Betfair introduced a brand new revenue stream, independent from the exchange. In addition, the brand was working hard to build up new sponsorship deals and agreements, and this lead to their sponsorship of some top soccer teams and major names in the world of English football. All of these were great ways to maintain the financial status of the brand while allowing them space to expand into different areas, and gain a greater reach and stronger reputation within the online gambling industry.
Growth continued in 2005 and 2006, and in 2006 Betfair became the official sponsor of one of the most-watched horse races in the world: the Grand National. This success was a massive boost to their exposure, offering a chance to develop a global reputation, and allowing Betfair to receive licenses from Malta and Austria to expand their range. 2006 also saw the introduction of the online casino, and this helps to establish Betfair as a comprehensive, all in one gaming website – everything you could ever want was located in one convenient place. The mobile site also went live during this time, allowing players to engage from anywhere in the world, at any point during a live sporting event, and taking full advantage of the huge increase in mobile technology.
In addition to extending the brand, 2006 also saw Betfair sell 26% of the business to SoftBank, in a deal which saw the company valued at an amazing £1.5 billion. This move allowed the founders to invest in an array of other companies and bring these under the Betfair brand. In 2010, Betfair was floated on the London Stock Exchange for the first time, and on October 22nd, the brand raised £200 million this way.
Despite the success, there were issues; Betfair was losing large portions of revenue from wagers, which were posted to the exchange, but never accepted by another player – up to 30% of all bets were going unmatched. This lad to the opening of a ‘traditional’ style sportsbook in 2012 and this was a perfect solution to claw back the lost 30%, while still offering something fresh and new under a now established brand. Betfair also moved from Gibraltar to the UK to help save on taxes and boost profits, and in 2015, they announced another major coup: a merger with Paddy Power, another large publicly-traded company on the LSE. The terms of the deal saw Betfair with 48% of the new company, and the merger is still the largest gaming company by revenue.
As time moved on, Betfair was also keen to move into the US market, acquiring a license for the New Jersey market, which operated under strict regulations, and this is where their casino site still runs from.
The site continues to innovate and continues to hold a strong position within the market.
Pros of Betfair
Some of the top advantages of Betfair include:
- Customers control the prices on the market, not Betfair, and they are usually better than the prices offered by traditional bookmakers.
- If you are unhappy with the price of a particular event, there is the option to ask for a higher price, in the hope that another customer will lay the bet.
- Stakes are not limited, unlike a traditional bookmaker
- Access to more obscure markets and less popular events
- In running betting is available, allowing punters greater flexibility
As one of the oldest running sites, it comes as no surprise that Betfair is hugely popular amongst online gambling fans. If you still aren’t convinced, however, there is no need to worry; there are plenty of alternatives to choose from!
Other alternative betting sites like Betfair
Being in the betting industry for over a decade, Betway is often marked as one of the best betting sites for both new and regular bettors. First off, the site is heavily regulated by various online gaming jurisdictions including Malta and the UK, so you don’t have any reason to doubt its trustworthiness and reliability.
Additionally, Betway wouldn’t be considered one of the best Betfair alternatives if it wasn’t regularly audited by eCOGRA, an independent authority in charge of regulating the online gaming industry regarding fair play and player protection.
Apart from being safe and secure, Betway doesn’t disappoint with betting options either. You can place bets on all popular sports such as football and horse racing, as well as some not-so-popular ones. There’s also an option for esports betting and a casino section for those who like diversity in their online gaming.
Betway also excels at the number of available payment methods for both deposits and withdrawals, and its customer support is available 24/7. All in all, this website definitely deserves a chance as one of the most popular Betfair alternatives available nowadays.
Free Bets & Offers
Just like other betting websites, Betway also offers bonuses and promotions on a regular basis. There are special offers for both new and experienced players, and some of the best deals you can get nowadays include:
- Free Bets — This is the offer available for new joiners who use a debit card or PayPal to fund their account. After placing a bet at odds of 1.75+ and making a minimum deposit of £10, new players are awarded an additional £10 in free bets. Just be quick to claim this offer as it will only be available seven days from opening your account. On top of that, there is a similar offer regarding esports, so if that’s your cup of tea, look for the Esports New Customer Offer in the promotions section of the site.
- Welcome Bonus — Another type of welcome offer new players can take advantage of is the 100% match bonus up to £50. To grab the offer, bettors must deposit at least £10 with either PayPal or a debit card. Bonus wagering and weighting requirements are 50x, and the bonus should be used in the first seven days.
Pros & Cons
Pros of Betway:
- A highly regulated website that can be trusted
- Extensive portfolio of betting options
- The plethora of available payment methods
- Separate tab for esports betting
- Multi-language platform
Cons of Betway:
- Bonuses and promotions could be slightly more generous
- Some players find the layout of the site a bit overwhelming
- There are bonus restrictions regarding the country of residence with the exclusion of certain leagues
Bet365 is one of the favourite betting platforms of UK punters that has slowly spread around the rest of the world as well. Following in the footsteps of many other renowned betting sites, bet365 has added a casino section to its website, so now punters can try their luck on various games of chance using the same account they made for sports betting.
If you’re wondering whether you can trust bet365, the years of experience and the license issued by the UK Gambling Commission guarantee that you have nothing to worry about. The safety of the website shouldn’t be questioned, and there are also various ways to complete your money transactions.
When it comes to the available betting options, bet365 has got you covered. The choice of betting markets is also extensive — football matches, for instance, come with more than 50 betting options.
Yet, the best parts of the bet365 platform are the highly competitive odds and its live betting option. Players often use this site for live streaming since the requirements for unlocking this feature are very fair. Therefore, if you are looking for an alternative to Betfair, this website is a great candidate.
Free Bets & Offers
If you’re up for some extra treats to boost your online betting experience, bet365 offers numerous promotions. Players who have already been active on the site for some time regularly get notified about special perks, and for new arrivals, bet365 has recently prepared an excellent welcome offer. Below you can take a look at some currently active promotions:
- Open Account Offer — Customers who sign up and deposit $10 or more to their account will get a match to the qualifying deposit of up to $100 in Bet Credits. After complying with the qualifying conditions, your Bet Credits can be used for placing bets on any sport available on the site without risking real cash. The returns from wagers placed with Bet Credits will be added directly to your Withdrawable Balance, and you can also combine Bet Credits and cash when funding your account. The offer is valid 30 days from registration.
- No Score Tie Offer — Your bets on matches that end goalless will be refunded on bet365. The only thing you have to do is to place a pre-match Correct Score, Half Time/Full Time or Scorecast bet, just like you would normally do. Any soccer match falls under this category, and should the game end in a goalless draw (0-0) and your bet fade to dust, bet365 will refund your risk.
- Soccer Substitute Guarantee — In bet365, you can even profit from substitutions. If you place a pre-game straight bet on selected soccer markets, and a player you have backed leaves the match before half-time, the operator will return your stake as Bet Credits even if a chosen market is part of a Parlay Builder bet. A refund will take place only if the outcome of the match has not been determined.
Pros & Cons
Pros of bet365:
- Quick and efficient payments
- Perfectly functioning live streaming events with plenty of events available
- Customers are allowed to place high wagers without getting the permission of a site’s representative
- Some of the best odds on the market combined with great market coverage
- Fair terms and conditions with no hidden clauses
Cons of bet365:
- Some customers had issues with reopening their accounts
- The site has a habit of imposing stake limits to the accounts of winning punters
If judged by the years of experience in the online gambling industry, 888sport is a betting site you can trust. This operator first appeared as a casino provider, and later on, spread its wings over the sports betting sectors like Betfair and other similar sites.
Today, this betting site offers a lot of great betting options for the most sought-after sports as well as the less popular ones. Yet, what makes 888sport stand out from the crowd is their unique bet calculator that allows you to easily determine how profitable your bet might be.
When it comes to safety and security, 888sport has your back. This online betting establishment is regulated by the two most renowned regulatory bodies in the industry — the UKGC and Gibraltar Gaming Commission. Knowing this, there’s no doubt that your online betting journey will go as smoothly as possible.
In case you’re interested in mobile betting, 888sport has an absolutely optimized platform for it. You can try it on any device, and if you come across any obstacles at all, there’s a customer support team to help you out immediately.
To wrap up, you might experience a streak of good luck if you visit 888sport since it is seen as a great Betfair alternative for a reason.
Free Bets & Offers
In order to keep up with the competition, one of the best alternative sites to Betfair has prepared a wide range of bonuses and promotions. You can rest assured you’ll find an offer up for grabs whether you’re a new customer or an avid punter. Let’s take a look at 888sport’s best deals at the moment:
- Welcome, Offer — With a promo code 30FB and a minimum deposit of €10, new users can grab €30 in Free Bets. One more thing to pay attention to includes minimum odds that must be at least 1.5. Provided that you’ve met all the mentioned requirements, you’ll be able to claim this offer within the first seven days from account activation.
- Build Your Own Bets — 888sport has come up with an exclusive promotion to help you out create your own multiples. Namely, Bet Builder allows you to combine markets within the same game, either pre-match or live, and make a unique bet that fits your standards.
- Match Combos — If you don’t have any idea about placing multiple bets, you can always rely on 888sport to do it for you. The provider has created match combos for you to choose from, so you don’t have to worry about anything except for chilling those drinks before your favourite match starts.
Pros & Cons
Pros of 888sport:
- Creative bonuses and promotions that allow you to mix and match various bets
- Easy navigation and pleasant website outline
- Great mobile betting app perfect for betting on the go
- Plenty of betting tips on the site’s blog
Cons of 888sport:
- No eSports betting
- After the software update, some clients claim that the website lacks some betting options that have previously been available
Is Betfair still the betting exchange for you?
Once upon a time, Betfair was standing in front of a clear goal. As the only betting exchange on the market, they had freedom, flexibility, and very little competition. Years later, the goalposts have shifted, and new exchanges are giving them a serious run for their money. With lower commission rates, better perks and deals, and the hottest in technological advances, this is a rapidly changing landscape, with plenty of choices for those looking for an alternative.
Despite all this, it is well worth remembering that Betfair has a strong reputation for a good reason; they are experienced, knowledgeable, and great at what they do. While it is always fun to try something new and important to stay clued up on the range of choices and options available, Betfair is faithful, familiar, and still worth returning home to.