I recently joined Betfair, the online casino not on gamstop sports betting website that allows you to lay events as well as back events. I spent a little time studying the website, trying to find out how I could increase my chances of winning money on Betfair and comparing this popular gambling website to other sports betting websites. After winning €4 over the course of three days’ betting on horseracing in the UK and Ireland, I decided to withdraw the money from my Betfair casino account and I will now share the reasons why I made this decision.
At first you would think Betfair is a safer gamstop gambling website than other sports betting websites because it allows you to lay events as well as back events when other gambling websites only allow you to back events. Backing an event means that you are betting that something will happen (for example, you back a horse if you think it will win a race); laying an event means that you are betting that an event will not happen (you lay a horse if you think it will not win a race).
I was first disappointed then I realized that the minimum bet for any event on Betfair is €4. I knew that some sports betting websites allow you to stake amounts as low as €0.10 and with stakes of €4 minimum, you can lose your whole Betfair bankroll pretty quickly.
I am now coming to the first thing that attracted me to Betfair and laying horses; while it is very difficult to predict which horse will win a race, it is be pretty easy to guess which horses do not stand a chance of winning a race based on the odds at which horses go: the higher the odds, the less a horse is likely to win. I then thought I could safely lay a horse with a high price; How naïve of me! One thing I learned about Betfair is that when you back an event, the only money you risk for that event if it doesn’t happen is your stake (the money you placed on the bet) but laying event is a completely different story: when you lay an event, the money you place on a bet is the amount you win if the event doesn’t happen but if the event still happens, the money you lose is not limited to your stake and if you lay a horse with high odds, you can lose a lot of money. For example, let’s say that a horse has a Betfair price of 100; it is not likely to win so you would be tempted to lay it but if you do, you must be prepared to lose €396 (€4 minimum stake x (100-1)) if the horse wins. That is a pretty big risk given the fact that if the horse loses as planned, you only win €4. Of course you can decide to lay the favourite horse, because while favourites are more likely to win, they do not always do so and laying a horse with a very low price means that you are not risking as much money if the favourite wins.
If you are not satisfied either backing or laying events, Betfair offers another way to make money: trading bets. If you are not familiar with trading, it just means that you can back an event (preferably when the price is high) and then later lay it (when the price goes down) or the other way around (lay a low priced event and then back it when the price increases). If the market manages to attain a sufficient difference in prices you can make a profit whether the event happens or not. This seems very simple at first but in order for it to work, you must know which way the price will go, which is extremely hard to do unless you bet huge amounts of money to influence the market to go the way you want, which is also very risky, or you study the markets you want to bet on intensely, which is very time-consuming.
Even though I did end up with a profit of €4, the conclusion I came up with is that Betfair is not the money-maker I expected it to be in the first place. I find gambling on this website far too risky, stressful and very time-consuming. Betfair and other gambling websites might be fine for some people who can afford and are prepared to lose consequent amounts of money as long as they do not get addicted to gambling online but I would rather find different ways to make money online that may pay less and that I can enjoy doing without risking to lose everything.