|Betfair.com, the UK-based betting exchange, reckons the traditional bookmakers should have enough punters to keep them in business, leaving the smart money to Betfair. That at least is the view of Betfair spokesman Mark Davies, who said the mainstream bookies shouldn't worry about losing customers to the exchanges because 'there are so many people who don't care about value.' |
Some estimates put the value legal betting on sports worldwide at a minimum $3.4 billion in annually. Betting exchanges take no more than 4 percent of this market, but they say it’s where the more sophisticated punters place their money.
'The vast majority of punters bet on the basis of the colors worn by a jockey or the name of a horse or something that catches their eye and makes them think, “Today my luck has come in,'' Davies said.
In contrast, devotees of betting exchanges look at the true chances of winning, and place much bigger bets, he said.
Davies was elaborating on the ongoing war of words between Betfair and mainstream bookmakers in the UK and Australia. The traditional bookmakers say betting exchanges are illegal, and that they represent unfair competition.
'If I were to go into a pub and take bets from people, I'd be breaking the law, but if I go on the Internet and do the same thing via a betting exchange, it's legal. We think this is a massive discrepancy,' said David Stevens, a spokesman for Coral Eurobet Ltd., Britain's third-largest bookmaker.
Paul Cooper, who used to work for Betfair and now works for Sporting Options, says he thinks 'the whole industry of exchange betting is continuing to spiral.'