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16 Dec 13 14:03
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Date Joined: 22 May 02
| Topic/replies: 13,957 | Blogger: Betfair Customer Services's blog
The Betfair MDs will be hosting a Q&A session on the Forum and Twitter on Thursday 19th December between 18.00 - 19.30 (GMT). We welcome questions on any topic of interest to Betfair customers.

On hand to answer questions will be….

-    John McElligott (Managing Director – Exchange)
-    Mark Brooker (Managing Director - Sportsbook)
-    Paul LaFontaine (Managing Director – Gaming)

To help us get through as many questions as possible, any questions that you do have can be emailed in advance to AskTheMD@Betfair.com or Tweet @Betfair using the hashtag #AskTheMD.

We will endeavour to answer as many questions as possible. You can send any questions you have from now, and responses will be posted on the night. Unfortunately it is not possible for us to respond to individual emails but we will attempt to answer all questions raised via the live Q&A session.

Questions and answers will be published here on the 19th December. We will also be tweeting links to the Q+A page via Twitter.
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Replies: 55
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 17:57
Welcome to this evening’s Q&A with the Betfair MDs.

Among the Betfair representatives answering questions this evening are John McElligott (MD - Exchange), Mark Brooker (Sports) and Paul LaFontaine (Gaming).

Thanks to all those who have already submitted questions in advance of this session. As we’ve have had many questions on similar themes, you may find your exact question is not answered although we have tried to cover all topics.

We will start by posting responses to the frequently asked questions as it will be difficult to respond to each individual question on the same topic although we hope to have addressed each point raised as best we can.

Any customer wishing to ask further questions during this session can email their questions to AskTheMD@Betfair.com or Tweet @Betfair using #AskTheMD.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:04
Site Performance

We are aware of the problems our customers see particular around high traffic periods, and we are constantly working to improve our customer experience. Unfortunately the exchange is a complex system and as such it isn’t as simple as just adding additional infrastructure. Over the last year we’ve made progress and are seeing the lowest number of incidents we have seen over the last 2 years. We continue to invest significantly in our infrastructure both in capacity as well as supportability. Recent examples include new load balancer technology, firewalls, internet capacity and resilience and significant underlying database maintenance. We feel your pain and full appreciate there is still work to be done, we are constantly working to provide a more consistent and stable experience for our customers.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:06
API Issue (18/12/13)

As part of our on-going infrastructure refresh and improvements initiatives, new load balancers were added to our platform on Wednesday. Following successful migrations over the last month we proceeded with our plans to migrate our API traffic. Unfortunately under high load the new configurations did not behave as expected which caused a service failure. We have reverted to our old infrastructure whilst we fix the problem with the new configuration.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:08
Why did we introduce Premium Charge?

To keep the exchange healthy it is necessary to attract new customers. Over recent years, competition for customers from bookmakers has intensified so the cost to Betfair to acquire new customers (i.e. to bring in each pound bet on the exchange) has risen significantly. At the same time, the share that our most sophisticated customers were paying us to win that money continued to  go down as our most sophisticated customers have become more and more sophisticated. This meant that to continue to bring in new customers to maintain activity on the exchange we had to make a change to our pricing (Betfair’s basic commission scheme was introduced shortly after we launched the betting exchange, before anyone could have imagined how customers might use it years later).

Therefore, premium charge was introduced to ensure that we could invest sufficiently to acquire new customers. Our marketing spend is now over £100 million per year, around 50% higher than 2008 (the year we introduced premium charge). There are many examples of this additional investment including Sky TV and Channel 4 Racing.

Introducing the Premium Charge is obviously something that we didn’t do lightly. We knew it would be contentious, but we knew we had to do it to ensure the exchange remained viable for the long-term.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:09
Will there be any changes to Premium Charge?

We are open to making modifications to Premium Charge. E.g. we are currently running a PC-free trial in Football (La Liga) and Rugby. Based on the results of these trials, we may look to extend these trials. For the moment, we cannot say any more regarding changes to PC.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:11
Why Sportsbook/Strategy?

Not all of our customers have the time to invest in order to understand the Exchange and prefer a simpler product. The Sportsbook appeals to these customers and allows us to introduce them to betting with Betfair. Increasingly we are seeing customers using both products and we continue to innovate with plans to bring the power of Exchange based pricing to our Sportsbook customers. As part of our commitment to the Exchange, we will soon be launching a mechanic whereby Sportsbook bets are matched directly into the Exchange - offering the best possible value to our Sportsbook customers whilst supporting liquidity in Exchange markets. The system is currently being trialled on a small number of Sportsbook markets.

The Sportsbook also allows us to offer a broader range of markets which have struggled to generate sufficient liquidity in the past on the Exchange. We also have the ability to offer greater promotional functionality to our customers. For example we can offer Best Odds Guaranteed on all UK and Irish racing - a promotion that is widely sought after by customers.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:13
Why aren’t you investing in the Exchange?

We are currently investing in the Exchange customer experience, and have implemented a number of improvements in the past few months across desktop, mobile and API.  We recognise there is plenty more to do, though in the next few months, you should see lots of additional improvements. We are also investing in the customer – in 2013, we have ramped up promotions and offers for Exchange customers.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:15
Why will you not open up the forums to new customers. ?

I have asked several times over the past months and have been told EVERY TIME that you will be opening the forums again.

I feel that I have been lied to, as it is crystal clear that you have no such intentions.

The forums are a great way of bringing in business. I have had several bets today that I would not have even considered, if things had not been highlighted on the forum.

If, as I suspect, the forums close, then you will have seen the last of me. The forums are the only reason that I look in.

No doubt you will cherry pick which questions you want to answer, and this will get ignored.

I look forward to an honest answer.


We have every intention of opening the forums to new customers and have exciting plans for Q1 2014! We are looking to offer Betfair customers the opportunity to join the forum on an invitation only basis provided they agree to the forum rules and regulations.

The Forum adds huge value and sets us apart from others within the gaming industry. We understand need to revitalise with new members and we will do so.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:16
Given the recent purchase of Bet Daq by Ladbrokes are you concerned you will lose business and liquidity on the exchange?

We treat them as competition. Sports betting is a highly competitive business, and we have a lot of respect for our competitors, such as Ladbrokes, Bet Daq and others. In the coming years, we intend to compete harder than ever for customer business.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:19
Why do none of my bets get matched first time? Is this because people use Bots? I’m always chasing prices and its always downwards.
Do you think this is fair and if it is Bots that cause this problem do you think its legal not to advertise that an ordinary everyday punter like me is up against a machine?
Its certainly not BETFAIR is it?


Betfair provides multiple channels to bet through including the Web Site, Mobile, Telbet and  the Public API  (Software Vendor Applications and Direct Access Applications).  Allowing customers to transact through multiple channels is fundamental to ensuring that liquidity levels are strong across all core markets offered on the exchange platform.  Customers transacting through the public API (Bots) are not the reason for your bets not being matched, the more likely reason will be that you are requesting ‘Value’ prices which there is strong demand for or even weak liquidity. If you find that you are consistently missing the prices you might find it more advantageous to request the second best price to increase your chances of being matched immediately. The Betfair platform will always best execute the bet should a better price be available
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:21
Can I ask why horse racing markets are settled so quick now even when it is obvious that a stewards enquiry is going to be announced?
Is this so betfair can get double commission on the same race?


UK and IRE Racing markets are typically settled in under 1 minute from when the race finishes which is industry leading.

With races on busy days often going off within minutes of each other this ensures winnings are with customers to bet on the next race.  We would never purposefully settle a market if we thought there was going to be a steward's enquiry and if we see interference we would hold off settlement. 

The Win market is re-opened for the vast majority of stewards enquiries however there are occasions when they are announced late.  In these scenarios there is a separate market available called Stewards Enquiry / "Keep the Race" for customers to bet on.  Trade on this market is relatively poor compared to if we had reopened the Win market so if anything we make less commission on the race rather than double.
Nevertheless, these occasions are fairly rare and our view is that getting funds back to customer quickly on the majority of races is preferential to delaying settlement on all races in case we miss something.  However we are constantly evaluating settlement speed and are taking a more cautionary approach in light of recent feedback.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:22
How many sportsbook users have had their accounts restricted in some form or other? Given that Betfair seems to be trying to eliminate the smaller markets on the exchange how does such heavy handedness with restricting accounts on the sportsbook offer customers a satisfactory experience? Will Betfair sportsbook review any of the stake factor limits applied to accounts?


Like every Sportsbook, Betfair reviews all Customer activity on our Risk business as our shareholders would demand. Unlike the majority of our competitors, our customers have the option of placing a bet via the Exchange where no such restrictions apply.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:24
Hello,
Bots is a big problem for the markets, the allowance of them operating have totally killed some of the markets. For example total points markets in basketball and set winner in tennis. I think that they’re scaring away punters.


Betfair provides multiple channels to bet through including the Web Site, Mobile, Telebet and  the Public API  (Software Vendor Applications and Direct Access Applications).  Allowing customers to transact through multiple channels is fundamental to ensuring that liquidity levels are strong across all core markets offered on the exchange platform.  Customers transacting through the public API (Bots) operate under the same terms and conditions as any other customer/channel.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:27
Given the ongoing functionality issues with the "new site" which continue to render it unusable, are there any plans afoot to invest some time, money and resources into the "classic site".  The current situation is farcical - you must be the only company in history that has had to sabotage its original product (which was in perfect working order) in order to force users to move to a new one that doesn't work.

The old site (Classic) is built using old technology which is now very difficult to support and modify.  Therefore, we decided to invest in rebuilding our exchange infrastructure in order to scale and address stability and reliability concerns. The new website enables customers to bet through that new infrastructure. The new Betfair website enables us to improve and grow our Exchange desktop offering going forward as can be seen through the addition of features like Cashout and the Bet view slider. A large majority of customers now use the new site, though some of our larger customers still favour the old site.  We are aware of the shortcomings of the new website, and in particular performance issues being experienced by some customers. We are listening to this input, and are committed to resolving the issues.

To that end we intend to release an improved market view and betslip interface for horse racing prior to the Cheltenham Festival, with the intention of rolling this out to other sports afterwards.  This new functionality is specifically geared to customers who still use our ‘Classic’ site.

We welcome customer input into this process, and will be putting details on User Voice when user testing is underway. It is our intention to ensure the new site is superior to Classic before we consider closing it.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:31
Have Betfair any plans to introduce multiple wallets in customers’ accounts, we could then split our betting
Between, say Horse Racing ,football, Cricket etc to enable us to control certain betting techniques.
This would then negate the need for people to try to have multiple accounts.


Customers are able to report on their P&L for each sport within the My Account reporting screen. This will enable them to see the status of transactions on each sport. There are no plans in place to introduce multiple wallets but this is something we may consider in the future.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:33
Now that the stream for U.S. racing is faster and clearer on betfair live video and that it could possibly be improved further speed wise because betfair own TVG ,
could we have the option to bet in-running on U.S. racing please .
as a trial we could possibly start by having 3 or 4 meeting per night upto 12 o'clock to see if it would be popular . when the english racing finishes before people come home there is no racing to bet on except U.S. , by having
the option to bet in-running might make the U.S. racing more popular .


Thank you for your question and it’s great to hear your feedback regarding the improved quality of the Live Video product.

We trialled in-play several years ago but liquidity was weak so it was discontinued.  However, we will monitor the performance and latency of US Racing on our Live Video product and if we feel there is sufficient demand for offering In-Play betting we will consider another trial.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:34
Do you think you are getting value for money from D McCain? 2/7 & 8/11 beat today & horse that "needs the run" wins@9/1


Betfair has a proud history of offering customers exclusive content from a number of prominent sporting figures, including jockeys and trainers.  We work hard with these individuals to ensure that their commentary is both meaningful and insightful, and on balance we believe that this is achieved.  That being said, training racehorses has never been an exact science.  Horses can sometimes make fools of us all, even the experts!
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:36
When something goes wrong on your site such as listings missing from the live video , the first people to pick up on problems will be your users who will post a message on the forum about complaining about the problem .
i think you should have a button on every forum for us to contact you directly to notify you of problems as soon as they occur , so that problems can be rectified as soon as possible .
not everyone uses twitter .

Now that 4G and fibre optic technology will be/are available, are betfair working together with the television companies to ensure that the picture speeds can be sped for Betfair Live Video using this newer technology ?
you did say a few years ago that if money was the object it would be fixed by now . well the technology is there now , it was in the racing post about 1 year ago that people have been using skype to stream the live on course
pictures to people at home . if they can do it , i am sure with a bit of input from betfair and co-operation from the tv companies that we could stream pictures direct to live video without the need for satellites , which could mean near live pictures.


Betfair always looks for new ways to innovate and improve the services that we provide to our customers. We will most certainly investigate the idea of implementing such a method along with other suggestions that our customers have requested over time. However, our aim is to have processes in place that will be able to identify issues automatically by  internal tools in addition to manual oversight from respective internal teams. We want customers to enjoy the best betting experience on our site, and Live Video is at the heart of that experience.

Betfair’s powerful technology platform is at the heart of everything we do and drives and supports all parts of the business. Our technology platform has benefitted from continued investment to increase ingest capabilities and leverage client-focused technologies to meet end-user demands. As you will be aware, Betfair has partnerships and contracts with all the major horseracing channels, which include ATR and RUK. We are in constant communication with our partners investigating and investing in areas to improve user experience and reduce any potential issues, especially latency issues on our Live Video services.
New technologies are part of Betfair’s commitment to provide and improve customer experience. Recently we introduced to customers the ability to control the buffering interval on LV, so they can make the choice between faster pictures or a clearer picture based on their own preference. This feature was implemented following direct contact with customers, and it is that kind of dialogue that is invaluable in driving product development.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:38
I used to go to the racecourse alot, but since the £20 minimum bet was dropped I cannot.

I am 66 and like to LAY big prices , but laying 100.0 for £50 (the new minimum bet) whilst at the track is not possible.
I have a Laptop at home to place wagers, so cannot afford the unneccesary luxury of having a Mobile Phone contract @ £30 per month to get duplicate internet access

Please restore for us older types who like to get out to the courses occasionally.


The simple answer to the question is that it’s just not commercially viable for us lower the minimum bet on Telbet.  Each call taken has an attributed cost of £2.50 and lowering the minimum bet will mean the service is run at a loss. We will continue offer the telephone betting whilst the service continues to breakeven but would encourage customers to use our mobile betting applications where possible.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:40
I take Player Protection/Responsible Gaming very seriously and have on occasions opted to use the functionality on your website for short breaks........usually before payday!!

However I have a suggestion that I think would be popular amongst Betfair users and would show you guys in an even more responsible light.

I suggest in addition to the formal Player Protection process available, a "COOL OFF" button that is visible once a user is logged in. The button itself, when pressed by the user, would then suspend a users "betting/deposit" activity for a pre-determined length of time, I would suggest around 6hrs/12hrs/24hrs - this is the cooling off period.

The button would then turn into a countdown timer which the user would see visible, so they would still be able to browse the site, the markets and the forums, on a "view only" basis. Once the timescales determined have elapsed, the account reverts back to normal.

This is a quick win solution and would be extremely effective for when users are either "on a role" with their winnings or perhaps on a losing steak - thus would either prevent greed or for those unfortunates, the age old adage of depositing more and "chasing their losses" etc ?

I truly believe that the standard Player Protection/Responsible Gaming solution is of course effective, however we know that many punters do not use this function as when they try to increase the amount or frequency (making the limit less restrictive), it will not take effect for 7 days - so this could result in no Betfair access for a couple of weeks maybe? Then they will only revert to using your competitor sites instead


To ensure our players have more choice in how they manage their play, we are introducing the “Time Out” feature this week. With the Time Out a player can put an account in suspension for 24 or 48 hours. For the period chosen the account cannot be used for additional wagering and we will not communicate with the player about new offers. Once the Time Out period is completed the account will return to its normal status. This allows the player to introduce a break in play for a short length of time and give them an additional means to play responsibly. We take Player Protection very seriously at Betfair and look forward to feedback on this new feature.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:40
I used to really like the live price graph pop-up, but it kept "breaking" with every Betfair upgrade.  Any there any plans to bring it back?


We have plans for a new and improved graphing function on the exchange early next year.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:42
I would like to ask why the company no longer pays a contribution to greyhound racing despite using the sport as part of it's business.
I am aware of the excuse that some other internet competitors do not pay, but am surprised you would drag yourselves down to their level. In the past betfair had a good relationship with the sport and it does the company no favours to behave in such a way now.


At the moment no online operator, other than bet365, pays into the greyhound fund. For many years Betfair continued to pay hoping for a level playing field.  As with horseracing, where Betfair is alone in signing a long term commercial deal with the sport, we would like to see the funding of greyhound racing operate on a more level playing field.  Betfair remains open and committed to discussing this with the greyhound industry and other betting operators presently, and in the future.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:43
Is there any time frame or even any consideration given that the Australian Arm of BF incorporate a lower minimum Bet amount.
In keeping with all other Australian Betting agencies.
The Aust$5 minimum excludes many smaller/newbies from considering BF.
Thankyou


The $5 minimum bet in Australia was originally set as it approximated the £2 min bet in the UK at the prevailing exchange rate at the time.  The consistency across different jurisdictions is consistent with the global nature of the Betfair Exchange.

In recent years the AUD has risen like the Australian cricket team and there is a case that an adjustment should be made to the minimum bet size.  The Betfair Australia business will conduct a review early in the New Year.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:45
Would simply like to know why the 'Current Bets' tab has been moved way across 2 the left of the screen.

We are constantly striving to improve our user experience and during our user testing having current bets on the left received the most positive feedback.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:46
My question for you is are management content with the current pricing structure with regards to the charging of premium commissions?
The reason for my query is that I am currently only able to bring about a third of my betting activity to Betfair. The other two thirds of betting activity have to be done elsewhere because at the 20% PC mark it was difficult to show a profit, but at the now 60% PC mark it’s impossible. The current PC set up actually precludes many others as well as myself from using Betfair as a “one-stop shop” for all our betting activity.
Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to email you a question.


Betfair charges big winners Premium Charge to help drive growth in the Exchange.  We are currently investing in the Exchange customer experience, and have implemented a number of improvements in the past few months across desktop, mobile and API.  We recognise there is plenty more to do, though in the next few months, you should see lots of additional improvements. We are also investing in the customer – in 2013, we have ramped up promotions and offers for Exchange customers.

However, we recognise that some customers are unhappy with Premium Charge, and are open to making modifications.  E.g. we are currently running a PC-free trial in Football (La Liga) and Rugby.  Based on the results of these trials, we may look to extend these trials.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:46
Betfair used to ridicule punters for betting with traditional bookies instead of P2P - Isn't embracing them now hypocritical?


Following lots of research, we hear feedback from customers that many don’t have the time to invest in order to understand the Exchange and prefer a simpler product. The Sportsbook appeals to these customers and allows us to introduce them to betting with Betfair. Because we truly believe in the Exchange model, we have developed a mechanic whereby Sportsbook bets are matched directly into the Exchange – that offers the benefit of Exchange value to our Sportsbook customers, whilst supporting liquidity in Exchange markets. The system is currently being trialled on a small number of Sportsbook markets and will be more widely available in the New Year.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:47
Are you concerned that Betfair are providing an opportunity for match fixers to flourish?

Betfair and sports are aligned in wanting to see exciting and fair sport that is free of corruption. No one is going to watch, enjoy or bet on sport where they believe any part of the event has been fixed.

Therefore Betfair works very closely with sports to share data and help prevent corruption. Betfair has 58 information sharing agreements with sports governing bodies around the world as well as a dedicated integrity team using technology and expert know-how to monitor every betting market Betfair offers.

Responsible betting operators like Betfair do not cause corruption and are in fact one of the crucial ways of preventing it, along with sports educating players about the betting related issues so they understand the rules and their own roles in preventing their sport being compromised.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:48
Earlier, orders from international customers were routed via Malta. Can you confirm that this is no longer the case. Can you also confirm that all orders from your customers are routed in the same way, giving a level playing field for international and UK customers.

In the past we did route international customers via Malta for regulatory reasons, how ever since those regulations have been relaxed, now all customers are routed exactly the same way, and hence we have a completely level playing field.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:49
Give all regular punter s  free RUK viewing card,  This would greatly increase liquidity.

The betfair video is a lot of farting about ... If you gave regular big punters  Ie  (bet £1000 a week )FREE  RUK VIEWING CARD  to watch on their telly (you could probably do great big deal with ruk to get it cheap)  You would have much more Liquidity and  1000s more people betting


Based on our renewed investment and partnership with RUK, we are now in a position to provide complementary RUK Anywhere subscriptions to our regular, valuable customers, who meet our streaming criteria. We’ll be pro-actively contacting these customers early in the new year & will arrange set-up on their behalf.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:50
Half the commission. You charge miles too much. More bet/lays would be done and you would still get the same amount coming in


We are investigating the impact of price reductions on Exchange liquidity.  E.g. we are currently running a PC-free trial in Football (La Liga) and Rugby.  Based on the results of these trials, we may look to extend these trials.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:51
Why when withdrawing from Betfair on a Friday does the money not arrive until earliest Tuesday, or Monday withdrawal reaches the bank Friday?

Yet for six pounds, under the correct circumstances, a withdrawal request made before noon reaches the bank next day.

It is nearly 2014, Paypal have been forced legally to transfer money within two hours same day as requested.

Security is paramount I know, however, why cannot it be within Betfairs and their Bank ability,  to ensure that all withdrawals are received next banking day? I don't mean 'faster payment', just a simple 'bank transfer'.


We process all payments as efficiently as possible. As you state, security is paramount and as such Betfair conduct a number of checks before allowing funds to leave the Betfair system which can result in some delays.  Bank transfers are typically sent within the next business day, when they arrive will depend on the receiving bank, but rest assured we always send the funds via the fastest route. We note from your account that you withdraw back to cards, the SLA here is 2-5 working days and again we process as soon as possible, once the funds have left us the time it takes is up to the issuing card provider.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:52
Why is the order of markets in football matches not grouped more sensibly? Related markets should be listed together.

We are currently working on revisiting our navigation structures, this will result in a much more sensible grouping of markets, as well as making it easier to find related events.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:53
Is it wise (or consistent) to reduce liquidity in handicap ante-post markets by not allowing layers to offset liabilities against fielded bets? After all, balloted horses are nearly always at the foot of the handicap, can be easily identified in advance and are seldom heavily backed. The golf, however, which is always non-runner no bet, is of far greater concern because the withdrawal of a low-priced entrant could be totally unpredicted and leave layers with a badly red book.

I believe that ante=post should mean ante-post (as in the Melbourne Cup
- another inconsistency) and that non-runners should be losers in all cases. If this is unacceptable, at least allow experienced layers to take Grand National bets without having to provide ludicrous margin funds.


While we want to give customers every opportunity to recycle funds, our risk analysis department identified a clear risk in Horseracing markets where a balloting out procedure can be followed that could put customers into severe negative liability. Given the long term nature of such markets and price volatility due to race trials run in this period we felt obliged to reduce the risk to both Betfair and customers by not allowing offsetting of liability.
Although it is not usual there have been instances where the favourite in an ante-post market was a horse that could have been at risk of being balloted out.
If we did change the Balloted out rule to declare these Horses as losers this would lessen the opportunity for customers to trade between Betfair and fixed odds firms. It would then be unfair to customers that were not acquainted with the exact requirements of balloting procedure taking what they assumed to be very generous prices.
Our Market Operations Team looks at these markets closely and are happy to listen to customers if they feel that circumstances such as declaration stages have reduced the risk to enable liability offset.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:54
Low margin (asian) operators offering a great proposition for the punter now - do you have plans on how to compete?

Betting is big business in Asia, yet just 3% of Betfair active accounts. Do you see this as an expansion opportunity


We need to break this down into the two components, firstly on the low margin operators - We have recently announced our extension of the commission trial in Asian Handicap betting, it will remain capped at 0.75% until the end of the season (May 24th) and we are receiving positive feedback on the competitive nature of the product. In addition to this we are continuing to plan improvements to our Asian Handicap product for the future.

With regards to your second question regarding expansion into Asia, Betfair will look to operate in any market that is fully regulated and whereby we can offer the customers a high quality service within that specific market. Asia is certainly growing as you are aware and something that Betfair continues to monitor for future growth.

Should you have any specific offerings that you are using from Asian operators that you would like us to consider please contact us at info@betfair.com and the details will be passed to the commercial team.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:55
racing liquidity is pathetic overnight & in the morning,how about try & improve offering 0% overnight until 11am

Gavin – this is a very interesting suggestion.  We are open to making pricing modifications in order to boost liquidity.  E.g. we are currently running a PC-free trial in Football (La Liga) and Rugby. Based on the results of these trials, we may look to extend them. 

At present, our software does not allow us to modify price by time of day.  However, we plan to enable this in 2014.  Once we have the functionality in place, we will test the use of different commission rates at different times.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:56
Was the decision to move the exchange away from being a true p2p exchange (introduction of the pc, xm for profit and whatever else that happens that is not true p2p betting) a mistake, and isn't it time to reverse all that stuff and promote the benefits of what would otherwise be a fabulous product and business?

I understand that not every change we could make will be popular with all customers, particularly if we increase prices for some of them, but there was never a decision to move the exchange away from being p2p. The exchange continues to match the bets of customers with opposing opinions on a game, race or match. Whatever decisions we make are based on what we conclude will best secure the long-term health of the business.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:57
If you are serious about attracting new customers to the exchange – why is it hidden away on your homepage?

In recent years, new customer acquisition to the Exchange has slowed. Our new Sportsbook enables Betfair compete effectively for new customers. This approach is working, and Betfair now has more recreational customers than ever. We are now encouraging the right new Sportsbook customers to become long-term Exchange customers.  As part of that, we will soon be launching a mechanic whereby Sportsbook bets are matched directly into the Exchange - offering the best possible value to our Sportsbook customers whilst supporting liquidity in Exchange markets. The system is currently being trialled on a small number of markets.  In this way, we believe the Exchange and Sportsbook working together can create a better experience for customers, and can help re-ignite Exchange growth.

For customers who only want to use the Exchange, you can use the following url, which goes directly to the Exchange.
betfairex.com
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:59
Are you aware of the changes in bulgarian gambling law? The tax from 01.01.2014 will be GGR. Are you considering reopening accounts for bulgarian residents after the new law takes action on 01.01.2014

The GGR tax has been approved by the Bulgarian Parliament in the first reading. To become law (as of January 1, 2014) it still needs to be approved in the second reading, which will take place this week. We’ve been advised that it is very likely that it will be approved. We will submit our licence application (which is ready to go) as soon as the changes to the gambling tax laws are approved. The Bulgarian regulator will have up to three months to review the application. If and when we’ve got the licence we will be able to re-open registrations in Bulgaria.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 19 Dec 13 18:59
You say you are spending PC money on marketing but there is currently NO exchange marketing out there? Only Sportsbook

Thanks for the question.  We know that many recreational customers prefer a more simple product than the Exchange.  Our strategy to address this problem has been to build a competitive Sportsbook that we will connect to the Exchange through a new mechanic we have developed and is currently being trialled.  This will be more widely rolled out in the New Year.  So when you see Sportsbook marketing it is designed to attract liquidity to the Exchange.

Also, we are investing in the Exchange customer experience, and have implemented a number of improvements in the past few months across desktop, mobile and API.  We recognise there is plenty more to do, though in the next few months, you should see lots of additional improvements. We have also increased promotions and offers for Exchange customers.
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