Betfair have had some pretty bad press recently. The system’s glitch at Leopardstown and then the down time during Friday 13th which is by no means the first and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Despite this, customers by and large seem to be happy to stay loyal to Betfair and in my opinion this is because Betfair is still the best option for customers and here are the reasons why:
1) The interface – It’s far superior to any other. Betdaq is a very poor copy and it took me a while to trust it when I first decided to sign up, such is the unprofessional look of the site. Inplay markets are strange too and money disappears very quickly and takes an age to come back.
2) The number of markets – Betfair offer markets on pretty much everything whereas Betfair’s coverage by any other comparison is poor.
3) Commission is irrelevant – Yes Betdaq are offering better rates of commission to try and attract new customers but the market makers who use bots to set prices on Betfair and Betdaq just factor this into the price they set on betdaq. This makes the odds generally lower than what they are on Betfair and even though it often works out the same after the lower commission is deducted, there is no incentive to change to a less superior interface that they are unfamiliar with.
4) Winners already on Betdaq too – The only argument for not continuing to bet with Betfair is the premium charge but this doesn’t affect 98% of customers and those it does affect are not going to cut off their nose to spite their face and turn off their Betfair bot when they can bots running on both Betdaq and Betfair. For most bot players it’s not a one or the other choice.
So it is very difficult for Betdaq or any other exchange to compete with Betfair and it would have to take something radical to get more liquidity into the site. The average non-premium charge paying customer has no reason to move and so the liquidity will always stay with Betfair. I would suggest a makeover for the site and to offer more markets but this costs money and the desired result far from guaranteed.
I don’t really know what else Betdaq can do to compete and I am by no means an expert but I think the average punter will want to see a better price or equal to that of Betfair when they log in and probably won’t be smart enough or concerned enough to calculate price after commission. So I would make the commission structure the same as Betfair’s and look at other incentives like giving losers cash back or something similar.
I also think they need to work on their marketing. It was a while before I realised Betdaq existed and if it wasn’t for reading around I may have taken a good while longer to find out. I suspect there are a lot of punters out there who still don’t know about Betdaq.