Forums

Forum Chat

There is currently 1 person viewing this thread.
01 Feb 10 15:52
Joined:
Date Joined: 22 May 02
| Topic/replies: 14,028 | Blogger: Betfair Customer Services's blog
Well be hosting a Q&A session on the forum on Tuesday 16th February between 6.00 pm and 7.30 pm (UK Time). Wed welcome questions on any topic of interest to Betfair customers.

To help us get through as many questions as possible, any questions that you do have can be emailed in advance to livechat@betfair.com. Unfortunately it is not possible for us to respond to each email individually but we will attempt to answer all questions raised via the live Q&A session.
Share |

Post your reply

Text Format: Table: Smilies:
Forum does not support HTML
Insert Photo
Cancel
sort by:
Show
per page
Replies: 30
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:06
Welcome to the forum Q&A.

We will shortly start to post answers to questions which have been emailed into us in advance. Customers who wish to ask further questions during this session can either respond in this thread, or email their questions to livechat@betfair.com.

Among the Betfair representatives answering questions this evening are Tony Rigby (IT Director) and Lee Cowles (Director of our UK business).
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:10
Choppy

Often hear of events not going in-play or in-play being withdrawn because of problems with feeds.
My qeustion is do Betfair rely on live pictures or is there a representitive at the live event that you loose contact with. How do you determine when to suspend a live event?



We have an extensive range of feeds used for each sport offered. The quality and latency of all feeds is imperative for accurate in-play market coverage and is something which is monitored on an ongoing basis. If either comes into question, we reserve the right not to offer markets for the event in-play. We will only ever offer a market if we are completely satisfied the feeds we are using are in every respect suitable for managing the event itself. Unfortunately, this can on occasions mean we withdraw coverage at short notice. Whenever this does occur, a posting will be made in the
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:12
Hi guys,

I have a question with regards to in-running betting on Australian horseracing. As you know Betfair introduced in-running betting on all Aussie metropolitan horseracing meetings last April and since then the liquidity has been building up to quite a reasonable level.
However, there is a problem with liquidity levels when there is only one, or even two meetings available during these scheduled daytime midweek meetings, particularly if there is no in-running betting from the two biggest markets in Australia - those of NSW and Victoria.
Therefore my question is why don't Betfair have additional meetings available to bet on during these designated midweek in-running betting days, especially when there is only one or two meetings scheduled? I am not advocating additional days in which to bet in-running, just additional meetings to include at least 3-4 meetings for the day, thus creating greater liquidity across the board.
In my opinion, any midweek betting day should include meetings from both NSW and Victoria as these are the biggest markets. A good example is this coming Wednesday (the 17th) when there will be in-running betting available in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth (that's fine), but no meeting from Victoria even though the meeting there will have some races with prizemoney of $100,000 and $200,000. From what I have seen over this past year betting in-running, when there are more meetings to bet on during these midweeks, then there appears to be greater liquidity in these markets.

Kind regards, Jim.


Our current approval allows us to offer all Group and metropolitan races from VIC, NSW, QLD, SA and WA but we have in exceptional circumstances offered provincial listed races in Victoria (with approval from RVL) wheres theres been increased customer interest. For example we offered the Geelong Cup in October and we plan to offer two of the listed races tomorrow from the Mornington meet you mentioned.

Theres certainly the scope and the inclination to offer a broader number of races in-running to meet those demands provincial cards from VIC and NSW would be the obvious additions so long as it meets the approval of the respective racing bodies.

Hopefully we can offer you more meets in the near future.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:17
Forun name: Stevenagekid

The changes to the South African markets are great.
I really believe that you will see the full effects of the changes in the UK winter months( November to End of March) when there are only a handfull of racemeetings scheduled for each day and many many racemeetings cancelled due to inclement weather conditions.
Going on last years figures the South African markets were very liquid during the UK winter months and I expect the same if not better this year with the addition of live streaming and extra info that Betfair is now offering.
I have just one point that I would like to raise, the issue of betting in-play.
I really believe that this issue should be reviewed and the in -play betting option should be reintroduced during the months (November to end of March)
Betfair will earn a lot of extra commision during this time with the in-play option as there wil be a lot of added interest due to the minimal amount of UK racing which will also give the market operators less work to do and hence more time to concentrate on SA racing
I am an avid South African racing follower and an ex betfair employee and am very excited about all the changes but do believe that the in -play option should be revisited as do many other South African players during those months listed.
Please respond if you can
Many Thanks


The changes we have made over the past 12 months to SA racing (addition of a Tote facility, increased streaming etc) have been well received and thanks for the feedback. Whilst we stopped offering SA racing in-running in July 2009 due to apparent lack of interest, it is something we are keeping under review and may revisit that decision if we feel interest amongst customers is sufficient to justify doing so.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:18
[b]Forum name - birch2

Dear BF,

I wish to take issue with you re the 'honesty' regarding your 1st Oct announcement re the changes to the Premium charge.

Firstly, as a business you are entitled to set out your business model/profit margins etc. as you wish and 'tweak' that model so as to gain maximum profitability as you go on. My issue is with the spin/misrepresentations you made in the above and the bad PR by taking 4 months to do this Q/A, which obviously has lead to more suspicion.

On 12th October 2009 we will be making some changes to the Premium Charge mechanism. The changes are being made following a period of review, during which we have consulted and collated feedback from over 300 customers. The changes are designed to simplify the charge and have been devised specifically to address the most consistent topics of concern expressed by customers, both those who have incurred the charge and those who havent.

We anticipate that the changes will reduce the number of customers affected by the charge and also the total amount of Premium Charges collected each week.

1. Do you take the view of only 300 customers (some or all could be your own employees!) - or does no-one in your company analyse the data you have? The predicted results (profit) of the new calc should be known almost instantly, in any computerised business.

2. For you to think that your new PC paying customers will swallow the line re reducing PC is naive in the extreme, the basis of which I set out below.

By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:20
Aussie Al

The outages (both planned and unplanned) are affecting Australian customers more than UK customers. However, all of the service (including the timing of this session) is aimed at UK customers. When will BetFair start considering its Australian customers, including scheduling a chat session at a time convenient for Australian customers.


We agree that the Q&A sessions we have run to date (including this one) have not been scheduled at times that are likely to suit Australian customers. Our plan is that the next live session will be scheduled at a more realistic time for Australians (most likely to be early morning UK time, so early evening Australian time). In terms of outages, those which are unplanned can of course happen at any time. For planned outages we accept that the burden should not be borne disproportionately and this is something we are actively considering.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:21
Aussie Al

I would like to know if you have any plans - through sponsorship of a racing channel or through flash pictures on the internet - to cut down on the picture delay for in-running bettors on horseracing? I would also like to know if you take this issue seriously as currently we have less skilled players winning over more skilled ones solely because they have a 2 second advantage. ie People in the hotel on track at Wolverhampton.


This is question we've been asked many times and, unfortunately, the response this time is no more positive than those we were able to offer in the past. We have spoken, at length, to the two UK racing channels and encouraged them to explore ways to reduce the signal delay. Both are limited in what they can do because of their relationships with Sky and for them the issue of how quickly and consistently the signal is delivered is simply not a priority.

If it were simply a matter of money then the latency problems would have been resolved by now. It is not. There are a number of technical issues that make real time picture delivery for every customer watching in every country Betfair operates in, simply impossible.

Customers who post on the forum tend to be UK based and view events from a very UK-centric view but there are also many people betting on UK racing around the world and they often see TV pictures that are even more delayed than in the UK. Those we have spoken to are aware of this and choose to bet anyway believing that their race reading skills compensate for any picture delay, or are happy to leave bets up in-running, as insurance against bets placed before the off.

Each broadcaster has a different way of making their signal available to viewers but even if they were both to agree to operate in the same way, customers would still see pictures at differing times. It is an inevitable consequence of different delivery systems that those people watching via cable, satellite, online or elsewhere will all see signals at differing times.

Those people who choose to watch a live event and hoping to taking advantage of beating any picture delay are hindered by the connectivity of their internet connections which can be slower on course than elsewhere. There are now so many people utilising what they think are faster picture service providers that the playing field for in-running betters is probably more level than it has ever been.

As well as Betfair informing customers of possible delays in 'live' pictures, in both the market information text and at the point of bet placement, some broadcasters themselves now commonly tell viewers to be mindful when betting in-running that what they are watching can sometimes be a couple of seconds or so behind real time.

If anyone has a suggestion as to how to cirumvent the various technical issues to help overcome the variance in service I am sure the broadcasters would be delighted to hear from you or you could let us know and we'll take it up directly with them.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:25
Just a quick question.

I like to watch racing on Betfair Live Video during the day.

With a back or a lay on normal win or place markets, this is fine.

However, if I have a bet on the AvB market, then click on to Live Video, it tells me I need to place a bet to view it.

Please explain why an AvB back or lay doesn't count as a bet with a view to watching the race.

Regards

John


Dear John,

It should do and that's the first I've heard of it. Can't guarantee a quick**but will look into it and publish a response as soon as I have an update.

Best,

Lee

Ive just been reminded that there is a known technical issue on our racing streaming that means that bets on AvB markets dont allow you to access it. We posted the issue on our service announcements in November last year but thats not how its meant to work and Ill see if we can do anything to sort it.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:27
cabajan

I believe the core business of Betfair is still sports betting.

The numerous upgrades recently do not seem to have materially enhanced the sports betting platforms. I can only surmise that the changes have been to accomodate the various virtual gaming products.

Why can you not isolate the sports betting platform from the rest to help ensure it's reliability and stability?


Hi Brian, the vast majority of upgrades have been targeted at the sports betting platform. The upgrades have been in the main to accommodate increasing capacity demands. Yes we had to create a new site for the virtual gaming products but that is a separate site than the main sports betting platform.
The sports platform is isolated from the games products but there is a major project going on within IT to further this separation.

Tony
By:
DStyle
When: 16 Feb 10 17:28
how can you further something's separation. surely it's either separated or it isn't

You as a customer exist only once within our product suite. Therefore whilst the sports betting platform does not require the virtual gaming products to be available the virtual gaming products require the sports betting platform to be available and everything requires the customer login credentials to be available and your balance. The further separation I mentioned is intended to remove the dependency on the sports betting platform that the virtual gaming products has, and eventually to make every product from a customer login as separated from each other as possible.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:31
james from the north

why cant i cancel keep bets when the race has finished and its suspended ?
i can cancel keep bets in running why not when you suspens the race

the following message appears
Bets on Starting Price markets cannot be cancelled until the Starting Price has been determined.

yet the starting price has been determined

its a nuisance as when there is a foto finish and its obvious whats won the lay bets cant be cancelled until you reopen the market for the foto and people with the fastest api connection clean up i have lost a few quids because of this

looking forward to your reply

james


Thanks for raising this; we are looking into at the moment.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:33
taoist

Hello

I recently asked that you announce in advance which non-BAGS meetings you would be covering, and was told it would be given consideration. I don't see any reason why this shouldn't be implemented when it could be done with minimal effort and would be invaluable to anyone like myself who needs to organize themselves well in advance.


Many thanks


We apologise for the delay in getting this implemented. The weekly coverage for non BAGS meetings is now posted under the
By:
bin it
When: 16 Feb 10 17:34
As a premium charge payer, I am in effect prohibited from casual bets and/or adopting any new strategies that may result in increased liquidity for you. Is there a way that premium charge players can place such bets and/or adopt new strategies in a separate account perhaps?

The Premium Charge is there to ensure that all consistently successful customers generate commission equal to at least 20% of their long term profits. If you have a casual strategy that results in consistently returning a profit whilst generating very little commission then it is true that you are likely to incur Premium Charges as a result. However, recreational bets are highly unlikely to yield consistent profits at a rate that would result in an increase in the amount of Premium Charge you are asked to pay. Unless your casual bets win more consistently than your core strategy bets, placing your casual bets with Betfair will serve to reduce the percentage of total profits you are asked to pay in Premium Charges.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:36
Innocent Bystander

Hi

With no UK broadcaster picking up the rights to the New Zealand cricket series vs Australia at the End of February / start of March, would Betfair be able to stream the matches live as they did for the Australian Big Bash 2020 cricket.?

Also the Pro20 2020 games from South Africa would be a welcome addition

Heres Hoping


Given our trial of streaming the recent KFC T20 Big Bash in Australia we are working with our
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:42
laptop larry

Hi, Can you tell me why Betfair Rapid has performed so badly lately that it has been rendered virtually un-usable.As a full time everyday user of Betfair this has been very frustrating to put it mildly. I know the site keeps saying API server problem, but what exactly is an API server and why is it taking so long for the Tech guys to get this problem sorted out. Also I have e-mailed Info@betfair and rapid@betfair asking for an update/explanation on this ongoing problem but haven't even had a reply. An explanation and an assurance that Rapid is now, and will continue to work at its best would be most welcome.


We have had a number of issues with our API recently and Betfair Rapid is one of the interfaces which uses our API. This is the reason why you will have had an interrupted service. We have since addressed these API issues and Betfair Rapid should continue to work in the way it should.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:45
Hi,

For the past couple of months I have noticed a lot of the photo
finishes on Irish Racing are not having the markets reopened?

Is this a permanent change?


If a photo finish is called, our intention is always to reopen the market to allow betting until a result is called. In some cases, despite what appears to be a very close finish, the Judge may call the result and not resort to a photo. I wonder have you been seeing close finishes and assuming that a photo has been called when it may not have been, but in any event thanks for raising and I will take it up with the relevant people in our horseracing team.

...In fact I have just been told that in some cases where there is a very close finish in Ireland, a photo finish may not necessarily announced, despite there being a delay in the actual result being announced.

Lee
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:46
Feck N. Eejit

Hi, if betfair intend to start basing the pc on account lifetime profit would it not restore a bit of goodwill (primarily among those who were unjustly hit by the pc because of result sequences) if you backdated this to the original pc introduction date and refunded that which would not have been paid? You might also have avoided the loss of some business if you had declared such a backdate


The changes we made to the Premium Charge in October last year were designed to improve the charge by making it simpler to understand and fairer for those customers that experience volatility in the longer-term. That said, the fact that we have made changes does not mean we believe that the original charging mechanism was broken or unjust.

If we halved our commission rates overnight we would be unlikely to simultaneously announce that we were going to make reimbursements for 50% of commission levied since Betfair was launched.
By:
Jack Bauer '24'
When: 16 Feb 10 17:49
With regard to Flash pictures for horse racing markets, why is it not possible for Betfair to negotiate a deal with the individual racecourses and the rights holders to transmit the live track feed via Flash to all Betfair customers?

Betfair could charge a reasonable daily fee for access and the profits could be shared amongst the various parties. We would then have as close to a level playing field as reasonably possible.

Many thanks.


Wherever we can, we will bring you the quickest, best quality streamed content available and regularly negotiate with rights owners to try and improve our content. We do have flash for some of our streamed racing, but even flash is subject to some transmission delays. The position around rights ownership is complex and we have limited control over how it is streamed but will push as hard as we can to improve it.

Because the tracks have agreed to bundle their rights together and sell them collectively, they cannot deal with us on an individual basis. In the UK, roughly half are sold via Racing UK and the rest through Attheraces. Betfair can only therefore purchase the packaged rights from these two broadcasters, and only on the basis they decide to offer them.

Lee
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:50
Alexey

Hi,

The 3 seconds horse racing in-play delay seems to be too large. Is it possible to make it, say, 2 seconds at most?




To my knowledge, our countdown delay on in-running racing delay is set at 1 second, so you shouldnt be seeing a 3 second delay. Could you be more specific about what youre experiencing?

Best regards,

Lee
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 17:55
Marcel

Due to the introduction of Keep-bets, it has become difficult to distinguish a Suspended with a goal from a Suspended without a goal. Before the introduction of Keep bets, a market was cleared completely in case of a goal. Today the Keep-bets are remaining in the market. Is it possible to add an X to the Suspended message in case of a goal? Example: in case it appears a goal has been scored, the message is still: "Suspended" and the market is frozen. When the goal is confirmed by the referee, the message changes to "Suspended X" and all the normal bets are cancelled.



This is possible, but will need be prioritized against other potential enhancements that are currently in the pipeline.

During API-problems, such as the last week or one year ago, sometimes the CANCEL-command from the API is no longer working. Besides that the P&L for a single market is sometimes not reflected properly (zero's instead of the actual values). This creates an extreme risk for betting by the API, since the staking goes unlimited (only maximised by my bankroll..). To reduce this risk it would be optimal when it would be possible to maximize the total stakes to a certain amount, for any single market in the account settings.

We dont have any plans to introduce this functionality but believe that you may be able to manage this situation within your software. Please contact the Betfair Developers Program via bdp@betfair.com so we can talk through this in more detail.
By:
Gerbs
When: 16 Feb 10 18:05
why was the commission paid removed from the betfair premium portal

is it because most PC players would have seen a big difference between what they have paid and what they have been credited by the comm generated fig



No. We removed the commission paid figure from the portal because it was causing confusion given that is irrelevant when it comes to calculating the Premium Charge.

Potential Premium Charges are offset against commission generated because it is fairest way to value the Exchange activity of our customers. Commission generated allocates each pound of commission collected equally between both the winning and losing counterparty.
By:
Doyler1987
When: 16 Feb 10 18:09
As a marketing student I try to keep a keen eye on advertising campaigns. Recently, you said that the funds from the "Premium Charge" would go towards new adverts to try and find new customers for the exchange. Myself and friends have been only consistently emailed about your Casino, Arcade and Exchange games, but nothing about the main sport site. Why do you choose to put these games before the main site?

If youve run out of ideas you can give me a ring. "20% better odds" and "bet person v person" dont seem to work anymore do they.

I've also noticed recently that Betfair SP has been returning up to 115% on some races. Could you explain why that is? I know the market ultimately governs the prices but I was under the allusion that the Betfair SP software would return the market to the overound it wanted? ie 100% or as close as possible.



As a business we have been doing loads of acquisition marketing, including TV advertising and sponsorship of Manchester United and FC Barcelona that helps to keep Betfair growing and improve the range and liquidity of markets on offer. Weve also increased the amount of offers aimed at existing customers and now run at least 8 different sports promos a week (usually one a day on racing and 3 a week on football/other sports depending on the season). Weve found that people seem to really like offers that compensate for near misses, like our
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 18:11
Marcel

1) Currently Betfair added the livescores of In Play soccer matches on the coupon.

a) Is it possible to display also the exact minute of play? I suppose Betfair has this information because you are managing the matches to let them go Suspended.


The live scores offering is part of our ongoing commitment to improve the content across all sports on the Betfair site. The exact minute of play along with a whole range of additional features are set for the next phase of launch which we anticipate in the next few months.

b) Is it possible to integrate the score-feed into the API?

This is not possible at the moment, but we are undertaking some major work which will allow us to provide additional data services (e.g. results, live scores) across a number of channels, including the Betfair API.
By:
Pagan_born
When: 16 Feb 10 18:12
Hi! Regarding Choppy message, at the top of this post, my question is: don't you think it would be fair to void all bets in case match is retracted from going in-play?! Sometimes I place bet early, just to find out half of the hour before kick-off that match will not go in-play; if I knew that, I wouldn't place a bet! Possible solution is to separate same market in two - in one of them, all bets would be void if match is retracted from going in-play (so, traders like me would use that market), while the other one would be "normal", like now, so traders who don't mind if it will go in-play or no would use that one.
Thanks!


I think offering 2 markets for every event as you suggest would be confusing for (at least some) customers and would split liquidity, which is obviously not to anyones benefit. We completely understand the frustrations of customers who place a bet with the intention of trading out of that bet, but are denied the opportunity to do so due to an event not being offered in-play (or due to technical failure). However, if we voided bets in the circumstances you described, it would seem to us to be even more unfair on customers who have placed a bet on an event (then perhaps logged off to watch the event), and had those bets voided due to an entirely unrelated failure of subsequent technology or data feed.
By:
ged
When: 16 Feb 10 18:14
Hi

Can you explain why some jockeys colours are sometimes missing from your race card for Horse Racing? It seems to be particularly evident on Saturdays, so is presumably a performance issue? Yet despite having recently carried out extensive performance upgrades, this problem is still as bad, and annoying, as ever.

Thanks.

We are aware that sometimes silks dont appear for any runners (or for some runners) in a given market. Typically this is an issue caused by a problem with our data feed, as we receive the silks/jockey data from a third party supplier. It is something we hope to improve, but inevitably there will still be cases where the silks do not appear for all/some runners.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 18:19
Marcel
The account is currently only protected by a password. Is it possible to add a token (for interested users against payment) such as tokens for normal bankaccounts?


This is something Betfair has been researching for the past year. We are currently in discussion with a number of companies and considering options, such as physical tokens and mobile phone applications. The issue is getting this onto our technology roadmap where it juggles for position with other new products and services. Assuming we can get the dedicated resources we should be in a position to trial (and maybe even roll-out) something this year.

Initially we would commence issuing such an application to a sample of customers, before rolling out to the mass market.

Currently it is quiet easy to add other bankaccounts to the Betfair account. Is it possible to restrict the Betfair accounts to one single contra bank account?

I dont quite follow the question you have here, but we will follow up with you separately on this.

Thanks

Lee
By:
[x] These checkboxes suck
When: 16 Feb 10 18:20
Hello

Why are there so few promotions targeted at greyhound markets? We've had horse racing promotions (i.e cashback on multiples and tote bets), we've had football promotions, yet greyhound punters do not receive much in the way of promotions. Hopefully by running a few greyhound promotions, you would be giving customers an added incentive to try and explore the brilliant betting medium that are BAGS races.

Thanks


Fair point we tend to target promotions based on hitting the biggest audience so that pushes us towards horseracing and football. Ill have a look at the greyhounds and see what we can do.

Best,

Lee
By:
Jack Bauer '24'
When: 16 Feb 10 18:25
Will Tote Flexi betting be made available on UK Tote bets, particularly the Scoop6, Jackpot and Placepot, and if so when is this likely to happen?

Many thanks.


To my knowledge, the UK Tote itself is not yet offering flexi betting (though it has certainly been mooted). If and when the Tote does make flexi betting available, we would hope to be able to allow customers to use it. As always however, there may be development work required by us to facilitate this, but I will follow up with our horseracing team internally.
By:
richpeers
When: 16 Feb 10 18:35
You say the issue with the API is sorted after maintenance but tonight as soon as the football started it became very jumpy and the repsonse time was very erratic,It seems to be like this every time the football is on especially on saturdays afternoons

We have just checked our systems and there appears nothing erratic that we can see. Our average bet placement time today through the API is 47ms, and no bet has taken a second or more.

One of our specialists will contact you tomorrow to see if we can help improve your experience.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 16 Feb 10 18:44
Thanks very much for all your questions we hope that weve done a fair job of answering them and will try and follow up where weve said we will. Well also try and make this a regular fixture and will get a couple in the diary in future. Having had a number of questions about timing, especially from Australia, we may look to do one at an earlier time in the day.
sort by:
Show
per page

Post your reply

Text Format: Table: Smilies:
Forum does not support HTML
Insert Photo
Cancel
‹ back to topics
www.betfair.com

New to Betfair?

You need to open an account before you can add content to the forum.

Opening an account only takes a few minutes.

register now