Betdaq is the trading name of Global Betting Exchange, one of Betfair’s few genuine competitors in the exchange space and now part of the Ladbrokes empire 13 years after Irish businessman Dermot Desmond founded it in Dublin.
Desmond, a billionaire who is best known in sports circles for being the majority owner of Scottish Premier League champion Celtic, founded the company in 2000 and it started trading in 2001, not all that long after Betfair made international headlines with the launch of its service.
An exchange provides trading facilities for retail or bookmaker customers to buy and sell contracts. A site such as this enables everyday punters to act as de facto licensed bookmakers, setting their own odds and laying – wagering against – specific outcomes happening.
The operator is based in Ireland, with its headquarters in the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin. It is Betfair’s most serious rival and, following its move to become part of the Ladbrokes group, it has made some big noises about tackling its biggest competitor.
Fans of the site argue that its system is superior to that of Betfair but that has certainly got something to do with the fact that traffic is a fraction of that of its rival, which makes a world of difference when it comes to delivering stable information technology.
The site offers some special features, including ‘Angel’ – the ultimate exchange toolkit; ‘Assistant’ – an alternative interface that enables customers to place bets in very efficient manner; and ‘Trader’ – a view that empowers customers to view the full range of backing and laying options on one screen.
Mobile applications are crucial in this day and age so it is important that any bookmaker has apps for both Android and iOS devices and that they are easy to use, which they are.
In the rest of this review we will look at the bookmaker’s wagering options, its bonuses, its security and licensing, how it treats professional and recreational punters and its banking practices, before providing an executive summary.
All gambling sites have pluses and minuses in regarding to punting options. It makes sense that one should start with the negatives and end on the positives.
On the minus side of the equation, customers are not able to place multi-bets of any description, whether that is multi-backs or multi-lays. A lack of accumulator options is the achilles heel of most peer-to-peer sites and it is a significant hurdle to attracting recreational punters.
Another negative, although it is something that its new owner is making a concerted effort to address, is relatively low liquidity on anything other than the most mainstream of markets. For example, it is one thing to obtain odds of, say, 10-1 on Betdaq when traditional bookmakers are offering 5-1 but if one can only bet, say, $10 compared to $1,000 elsewhere, it is futile.
The best thing about the site from the perspective of markets is that, because it does not set the odds, instead leaving that task to its customers, it has nothing to lose from throwing up markets on absolutely anything that its staff can resolve correctly once the event has taken place.
Exchanges are fantastic for live or in-play action and Betdaq handles that form of punting well. However, its relatively low liquidity on certain markets limits staking amounts.
Since its acquisition by Ladbrokes, the company has issued a manifesto aimed at growing its market share and competing with the giant in this space, Betfair. To do so, the company is giving away sizeable free bets in customer promotions and, also, rewarding its loyal clients with additional free bets once they hit nominated commission thresholds.
Security and Licensing
Part of the Ladbrokes group, the exchange is backed by one of the biggest and most respected names in international wagering and gaming. It is licensed and regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission so it is a safe place to play.
Professional Versus Recreational Punters
Betdaq is making a play for professional and recreational punters. Professional punters flock to peer-to-peer exchanges because winners are welcome and Betdaq does not impose what is known by Betfair as a premium charge. Also, the commission rates are lower than those of its rival, which matters when one is turning over – and winning – large amounts of money.
Recreational punters, particularly new Betdaq customers, can get a commission-free first month and, also, they are likely to be attracted by Betdaq making the first British thoroughbred horse race of the day commission free.
Getting money in and out of one’s Betdaq sports account is quick and easy but, controversially, it may cost one money. That is because Betdaq charges a 1.5 per cent administration fee on credit card deposits and more on some other methods. Betdaq gets away with these significant deductions because most punters see it – as well as the general 3% commission paid on winnings – as a cost of using the service that they are willing to cop. Surely there will come a time in the near future when Betdaq, like so many bookmakers, drops all deposit-related fees. It makes them uncompetitive. Also, please note that German players are excluded from funding their accounts via PayPal.
Betdaq sports is trying to lift its game and give Betfair a run for its money in the exchange space. Its parent company, Ladbrokes, is committed to putting up serious competition, so now more than ever before, it makes sense to open an account if one is an exchange punter.