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#AskBetfair - Customer Q&A Weds 28th Jan 2015, 17:00-19:00

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Replies: 67
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:31
Internet poker is clearly in terminal decline largely as a result of the poker sites complete inability to curtail the corrupt activities of the multi-tablers, bots, teams and other cheats. I doubt very much that Betfair operates their pokeroom at a worthwhile profit so why don't you take the lead here and shut it down?
We don’t believe that poker is in terminal decline – it’s still a popular game that 10,000s of Betfair customers enjoy every month.

Integrity of our games is core at Betfair, and we work with our poker provider to ensure that players are not able to gain an unfair advantage in any way. This includes monitoring for Bots, collusion, and team or soft play. Security in online poker has become extremely sophisticated, and we do not believe that security concerns have led to the decline in poker play.

What we do see is that over the years the game has become less accessible for new players and less fun for casual players.  A big factor in this is that there is a segment of players that multi-table, and this has changed the dynamic of the game – there’s less action, less interaction between players, and overall the games have become less fun.

Multi-tabling doesn’t give an advantage over other players. It’s done so players can earn bonuses and loyalty more quickly. But we recognise that the industry has been skewed in terms of offering too many incentives and benefits to this group.

To address this we’ve worked with our provider to focus on making the game more appealing to casual players. This will take the form of new exciting game types, more channels (including mobile and tablet), and a completely reworked rewards scheme that will have casual players as the focus.
These changes will start from the 1 Feb.

We will continue to offer poker so our users know they can enjoy a safe, fair, and most of all fun poker experience at Betfair.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:32
APIng, after the recent review, remains free - "for the foreseeable future".  When will the next review take place?
We haven’t set a specific date for reviewing API pricing.  Access will continue to be free of charge for the foreseeable future as confirmed in our recent announcement: forum.bdp.betfair.com/showthread.php?t=2...
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:33
Does your sports operation consider the bets placed by your successful exchange users when deciding whether to take the bet or not (from other punters)?
Access to live bet data at a customer level is restricted and employees are strictly forbidden from using any such data for either personal or commercial gain. This practice is known as front running and is a gross misconduct offence. So the answer is no.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:35
What is the decision making process behind Price Rush with deciding whether or not to match the bet on the exchange:
i) is it matched only on the basis of whether or not a profit/breakeven situation will arise for Betfair?
ii) or do you also consider the intelligence of the active users on the exchange i.e., if the bet you are considering to price rush onto the exchange has queued bets that oppose this bet by "successful players" would you rather take on the risk as per your sports operation?
iii) anything else you consider?

We currently operate Price Rush on markets across seven sports (football, tennis, horse racing, golf, basketball, ice hockey and American football).
On a market where Price Rush is active, the bet is matched into the Exchange when the price available (after commission payable is factored in) is better than the price offered on the Sportsbook.
We do not take into account any details of the customers providing the Exchange liquidity in the process.
For more information, please go to: www.betfair.com/sport/price-rush
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:36
There was an announcement recently with regards to cross market matching E.g., in a football match, placing a bid bet on the home team would also appear in the asian handicap market for a back of home-0.5 etc...
i) When is this going live (will there be any way to determine which markets this is live)?
ii) using the example above, how will offset commission be calculated if you have other bets in these 2 markets?  I.e., you have a winning back bet in the AH home-0.5 and in the "match odds market" you have say a smaller losing back bet on the draw?
iii) how will the queuing mechanism work across markets?  I.e., will waiting bets form one timestamped queue per odds increment or will there be 2 or more queues?  Is it more complicated than this?

We continue to trial this new functionality on specific football matches. If the trial is successful the intention is to scale it up during the next 2-3 months. We’ve made no changes to the way that commission is calculated as part of the liquidity pooling work, so offset commission will be unchanged. There are no changes to the way bets are matched either: the first bet (by timestamp) at a given point on the odds ladder will be matched first as it is today.  The liquidity pool just recognises that certain outcomes (e.g. AH home 0-line) appear in more than one market (e.g. Match Odds Home win) and reflects the liquidity on those outcomes accordingly.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:37
I love cash out.... But will you introduce it on in play horse race betting?
We love cash out too!  And we are looking at introducing for racing.  When we have a confirmed date we will of course publicise it to our customers.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:39
You've announced a trial on US golf of reducing the time delay from 5 seconds to 1 second.  Can you explain the thinking behind this, what criteria will determine whether the trial is successful, and whether it's something you're looking to do across other markets/sports?
We plan to run a trial to test the impact of reducing the in-play betting delay in Golf from 5 seconds to 1 second. Whilst the 5 seconds was originally introduced to offer protection to customers, realistically given the changing delay in TV pictures due to digital/HD improvements, it no longer offers real protection. The thinking is that by reducing the bet delay we will enable customers to place their bets a lot quicker therefore improving the in-play experience. With a 1 second delay it also means that customers will see a much more relevant and accurate picture of what the true price is at that time, thus enabling more informed decisions. Should this trial prove to be successful then we will also consider reducing the bet delay in other sports where we feel the protection being offered by a bet delay is no longer effective.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:40
With the new api , can we have it set up to allow API programs to lay/back the unnamed favourite for horses/dogs, etc. At the moment I don't believe we can back/lay the fav without knowing the BFSP prices and when we do it is too late. Could we not set it so we can back/lay the fav, and as the market is suspended at the off and the favourite is known, our bets are placed into the BFSP market
There are a number of licensed API software applications that provide this functionality and these can be found in the ‘Automated Betting’ section of the Betfair Apps directory.  You can access the App Directory via apps.betfair.com
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:41
With the ever increasing threat of cyber attacks – can you reassure on the safety of funds held in our accounts?
At Betfair, the security of customer accounts is a priority. We strongly advise customers not to disclose details of their usernames/passwords with unauthorised 3rd parties and it’s important to ensure that your PC/Software is up to date with the relevant updates and anti-virus software.
We have also introduced an optional system called 2-Step Authentication which allows you to make your account more secure by using both your password and your phone when you log onto Betfair. You can learn more about 2-Step Authentication by watching this short video: btfr.co/Two-Step-Vid
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:42
Have you considered charging less for price making than taking, to boost the markets? 
We have considered this as an option but there is a danger that we create a more complex pricing structure that isn’t clearly understood. Remember customers can both make and take prices in the same market.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:43
Why does Betfair Void the Match Odds market in T20 games when a Super Over is played?
One reason why we apply the Dead Heat rule in games where a Super Over is played is due to the fact that various competitions have different rules in terms of who is declared the match winner in a tie-break situation i.e. most sixes, boundaries, fewest wickets lost, etc. This could cause confusion to a number of customers betting on the market who may not be fully aware of the match rules in place. We also conducted a review back in April where we collated customer feedback to evaluate whether this is the best approach to settling the Match Odds market when there’s a Super Over. Almost all the feedback we received was in favour of still applying the Dead Heat rule, and with that we concluded that we will not make any changes.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:45
Why must I have 7000 points before I get a discount rate?
We want to reward recent activity with discounts, but because there may not be something you want to bet on every week we give some credit for older activity by keeping 85% of your points balance. Even without a discount, our odds still offer great value, with access to Exchange features such as Cash Out.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:47
Assuming pricerush bets are available for in-play markets, are they subject to the same bet delay time restrictions as imposed on normal exchange users?
We do offer Price Rush on in-play markets and the bets are subject to the same market bet delays as they would be for any Exchange customer.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:48
Why do I have to bet about 7 euros every race to see those pictures?
Unfortunately, complimentary live video isn’t something we are actually allowed to offer by the rights holders, as a bet must be struck prior to a race to trigger a full stream for that race. The requirement is the same for all online bookmakers.

However, in order to improve our existing service, we continually look to work with our providers to minimise streaming latency and video downtime across both desktop and mobile products.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:49
With horse racing markets regularly trading at almost exactly on the 100% perfect book isn't it time that ALL reduction factors were applied and not just those at 2.5% and above? With many people, including myself, working to tiny margins, even withdrawals with reduction factors of less than 2.5% are significant.
We don’t apply reduction factors (RF) on selections with a RF of less than 2.5% for a number of reasons.

When Reduction Factors were first introduced on the Exchange we wanted some kind of parity to the Fixed Odds firms who don’t apply RF above a certain price (15.0) so customers could relate to it.  Clearly, with smaller overrounds on exchange markets our terms go much further than that with any horse up to the odds of 40 having a RF applied.

While accepting the point that most UK and IRE Horse Racing markets do trade around 100% nearer to the “off”, they often trade above 105% earlier in the morning when the majority of Non-Runners are declared.  In addition, early pricing on outsiders tends to be defensive, with horses that go off at over 100.0 BSP regularly trading around less than half this price in the morning thus having a higher RF at the time of their removal than their actual ‘off’ chance.

In general, we receive an equal amount of feedback from both backers and layers saying the current system favours the other.  It is always our intention to provide a fair and level playing field for both backers and layers on the exchange and we believe the current RF system strikes this balance hence we have no plans to change at present.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:50
Since the launch of the Sportsbook there have been times when customers were unable to cash out leading to an online backlash against Betfair. Why not use this as an opportunity to educate customers and direct them to hedge on the exchange.
Cash Out is a very popular feature amongst our sports betting users.  We send frequent Cash Out users receive marketing communications about the benefits of using the exchange.  We believe this is the most effective way to educate our sports betting customers about the exchange.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:51
Is the LiveView on the forum a cynical ploy to get people to login so they might be more likely to bet? If not, can you make standard view the default?
Live view is a more dynamic way of reading the Forum as it updates in real time similar to a Chat room. We’ve found that customers prefer this experience and as a consequence are more likely to reply to threads. If any customer prefers to use the Standard view instead, this can be accessed easily from any Forum page.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:52
I would like to ask the question of the competence of the people you use to moderate the forums, this will not be the first time it has been asked. I refer to the last Q&A session in May last year, someone asked "Is there any chance of your company replacing TSE as the forum moderators? They seem to have a very funny agenda regarding posts, someone posts something that is not even offensive gets a life ban yet other posters continue with libellous posts (ie. accusing others of being aliases) yet there posts just get removed and they are not sanctioned further."

The main issue is the politics forum, which as I appreciate is volatile by it's nature, but that does not excuse the policy of inaction that seems to be the mantra of the moderators. Your response at the last one was "Bullying and harassment are not what the Betfair forum is about and will not be tolerated." but this is still not being applied, all the moderators do is remove the offending reported post, no temporary or permanent bans are issued to the poster responsible.

For the past 8 months another poster and myself have been mocked about our disability, when reported the posts have been removed I admit, but they simply return at a later date. The poster ExtremeX is known to the moderators, he has been banned before under the name Menelaus for doing the same thing, so why is a more direct from of action not being taken? It does appear that we are wasting our time reporting him and are just doing your moderators jobs for them.

Betfair categorically will not stand for bullying and harassment on the Forum and understand the importance of dealing with such issues in an appropriate manner. Sometimes there’s a fine line between what is considered light hearted “banter” and overstepping the mark and causing offense to others. We endeavour to identify inappropriate posts and respond accordingly.

There are no changes planned for the Forum. Please continue to use the “Report” feature to flag unsuitable content as the Forum is not actively moderated. Alternatively you can email forum@betfair.com and one of the team will investigate the query. The case you mention was picked up in the moderation log and rest assured that appropriate action was taken but as I’m sure you’ll understand, that we’re unable to discuss specifics in relation to another customer's account.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:53
Will we ever get a stream on the Betfair live video to allow us to bet on the Australian racing in running, something akin to the RUK feed on Betfair live video at the moment?
We are currently in talks to offer Live Video for Australian and Singapore racing. As soon as video from other territories becomes available, we will do our best to get an agreement to offer it to our customers.

Once we're satisfied that the latency is sufficiently short to be able to confidently promote In-Running on Australian racing, then this is something we will absolutely do.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:53
Are you happy with how international price discrimination has worked out for you?  Or is there a chance that you will go back to 5% commission for some or all the countries where you currently charge 6.5%?

Will your commission rate remain unchanged (for the foreseeable future) for the countries where it currently is 5%, or will you increase it now that you have to pay that new point-of-consumption-tax in Great Britain?

We currently have no plans to change the 5% commission rate in the UK or the 6.5% international rate.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:55
Since the Australian Open Tennis 2014 when a company run by ex-Betfair employees was exposed as courtsiding, what steps (if any) has Betfair taken to stop courtsiders operating on this site?
This is a complex subject as we cannot stop people from betting from an event, or from transmitting information from that event for others to use for betting purposes, and often customers use multiples strategies within the same account so any one particular behaviour is hard to spot.  However, we have updated our terms and conditions to contain the following provisions that all of our customers must agree to when betting with us:
You undertake to use our services for legitimate betting purposes only. In particular you undertake not to
i.    engage in any activity which has the purpose or effect of causing damage to or in any way hindering our business operations or generating or increasing a liability on us, including without limitation any tax, levy or duty collecting authority;
ii.    bet on, or manipulate any individual Market in a manner which we believe has the purpose or effect of adversely affecting the integrity of the Exchange or any Market;
iii.    transmit information that assists in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest from any territory where it is illegal to do so; and/ or
iv.    procure or otherwise arrange, whether directly or indirectly, for a third party to transmit information that assists in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest from any territory where it is illegal to do so.
We also have a prominent warning on our website that says other Betfair customers may have access to data that is faster and/or more accurate than the data shown on the Betfair site.
The Market Information available within the Rules button of every market also says:
Customers should be aware that:
Transmissions described as “live” by some broadcasters may actually be delayed
The extent of any such delay may vary, depending on the set-up through which they are receiving pictures or data.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:56
Better feedback after an API problem. Never following up with an explanation or action plan., complaints to BF, BDP and posted on forums has seen no communication from BF.
We do post announcements about the API on our dedicated forum and you can subscribe to updates to receive any new posts as soon as they are posted. The link is here: forum.bdp.betfair.com/forumdisplay.php?f...
If you want to pass on more details about the specific issue that you have raised then please email bdep@betfair.com who will be happy to get back to you.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 18:57
Have you considered changing the premium charge period from a week to a month?
This is something we’ve talked about – the problem with charging premium charge monthly is that the monthly payments will be larger, which means that you will need to keep a higher account balance to cover the charge at the end of each month which we understand many customers are not keen to do.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 19:02
We’re drawing the session to a close. There may be one or two that are awaiting feedback from various areas around the business before posting so we’ll add to this thread in due course.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 19:05
Are you comfortable that no ex employees have been able to obtain copies of the ex Dbase so as to analyse successful customers?
Yes, we are comfortable
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 19:07
You should make a bigger deal of "trending" markets, what is hot and seeing lots of money matched
To find markets which have the most liquidity and £ matched please click on the “Where is the money” link on the left hand navigation on the exchange.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 28 Jan 15 19:08
Where has the Any Other market gone from Correct Score football. Replace with Home, Draw, Away. Why?
We felt that “Any Other” covered too broad a number of outcomes and adding Any Other Home, Any Other Away and Any Other Draw offers customers more choice.
By:
Betfair Customer Services
When: 29 Jan 15 09:41
Thanks to everyone who submitted a question. We really appreciate you taking the time to join us and look forward to hosting another session towards the end of the year.

The customer is always at the heart of everything we do so feedback like this is really important, both good and bad.
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