Betfair in the news again, and not in a good way.

maxd

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"Betfair falls short in new attempt to end unease over voided bets .. Rogue bets were laid by a 'bot'"

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... All in-running bets on Wednesday's race were declared void as a result of the rogue bet, which appeared to offer Betfair's clients a chance to back Voler La Vedette, the 13-8 second-favourite, at odds of 28-1, to a maximum of just over £21m. ...

As many as 200 Betfair clients are believed to have placed bets totalling just over £800,000 on Voler La Vedette, with a theoretical return of about £23m. Instead they simply received their stake money back when Betfair voided the in-running betting due to "an obvious technical fault which allowed a customer to exceed their exposure limit".

Friday's statement, described as an apology and explanation to Betfair customers from Stephen Morana Betfair's acting chief executive officer, said that the bet had been placed by an automated betting programme – or "bot" – via the site's Application Programming Interface (API), which is designed specifically to work with betting software. (
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See also:
  • Betfair customers may consider legal action on voided £23m winnings:
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  • Betfair would have voided bets if Voler La Vedette had not won:
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  • Betfair's £23m betting liability was caused by small-scale customer:
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  • Betfair may lose out by not explaining how £600m lay bet was accepted:
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pokeraddict

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Las Vegas
All sportsbooks have a clause that allows them to void obvious bad lines. If Betfair were a legitimate operation this would probably not grab as many headlines. Their habit of stealing money from players is what makes this newsworthy. Nobody trusts that this was an honest mistake. My question is, why are people still playing at Betfair? These 200 bettors really have nobody to blame but themselves. I doubt there are too many people out there that do not know how shady Betfair has become.
 

maxd

Complaints (PAB) Manager
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Saltirelandia
All sportsbooks have a clause that allows them to void obvious bad lines.

Seems to me there's more than just a cancelled bet at issue here. Between the betting bots and the massive bet cancellation my guess is that would have been newsworthy no matter where it had happened.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Betfair have said they have no problem with an investigation by the UK Gambling Commission, and if ever there was a case that indicated this was necessary, this is it.

Given the recent decline in the company's way of doing things, and the magnitude of the current debacle, I would expect the Commission to show some interest once everyone returns from the holidays.

I wonder if that will come about?
 

threescatters

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Betfair have said they have no problem with an investigation by the UK Gambling Commission, and if ever there was a case that indicated this was necessary, this is it.

Given the recent decline in the company's way of doing things, and the magnitude of the current debacle, I would expect the Commission to show some interest once everyone returns from the holidays.

I wonder if that will come about?

Betfair thieved directly from UK customers sportsbook wallets after the happy hour fiasco, which at the time fell under the UK Gambling Commissions juristicion. They washed their hands of it completely then. Since then, betfairs sports section has left that regulator. I would expect nothing to come of anything from the UK Gambling Commission with regards to betfair.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Betfair thieved directly from UK customers sportsbook wallets after the happy hour fiasco, which at the time fell under the UK Gambling Commissions juristicion. They washed their hands of it completely then. Since then, betfairs sports section has left that regulator. I would expect nothing to come of anything from the UK Gambling Commission with regards to betfair.

Do you have a reference link for that information?
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
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Oct 14, 2004
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United Kingdom
All sportsbooks have a clause that allows them to void obvious bad lines. If Betfair were a legitimate operation this would probably not grab as many headlines. Their habit of stealing money from players is what makes this newsworthy. Nobody trusts that this was an honest mistake. My question is, why are people still playing at Betfair? These 200 bettors really have nobody to blame but themselves. I doubt there are too many people out there that do not know how shady Betfair has become.


This normally happens after an event is thought to have been rigged. Normally, (in the UK), the jockey club and/or racetrack stewards will suspend the result pending a "stewards enquiry" where something went wrong in the race itself, or the jockey club will investigate later on if concern is raised that the result had been fixed in advance, and big bets placed on this outcome.

This case was neither of these, the race went fine, and the result stood. It is purely Betfair that had this issue, and blaming the whole thing on "bots", as well as admitting it wasn't one of their "house bots", but that of a small time customer, is what seems to be the worry. What if the horse had LOST in the end, this small time customer would have won a fortune, and who knows if Betfair would have noticed given that THEY were not facing a huge liabilty.

The revelation that it operates these house bots shows that Betfair do NOT merely operate an exchange, but actually take part in the action themselves.


Their exchange is similar to the London Stock exchange, and winners here are almost worshipped, and do NOT suddenly face 60% sales commission from their brokers just because they consistently beat the index. There is no need, the brokers STILL make their money from the volume of transactions, so would NOT want to drive successful traders to a different exchange, or encourage them to hold shares for longer between trades.

Betfair should be the same, the more bets matched, the more money they make. It shouldn't matter what the outcome is, and by having "pros" and bookies use the site they benefit from a boost in liquidity, which means that those who want to place a particular bet are more likely to find a match for it.

The current impression is of a site that HATES winners, whether this is from sports or in the casino. Even though unaffected, the average joe realises that if they actually achieve the dream of beating the exchange, they too will be made to suffer via arbitrary hikes in charges and even retrospective confiscation of funds.

I expect some of those bettors screwed out of a big win through some barely credible excuse will look again at whether Betfair is the ONLY place that can satisfy their needs.

Those city investors that bought heavily in the flotation must be pretty annoyed, as they too have been screwed by a string of management "accidents" that have dragged the share price right down.
 

DiamondGeezer

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NOT Pennsylvania!!!
Betfair have said they have no problem with an investigation by the UK Gambling Commission, and if ever there was a case that indicated this was necessary, this is it.

Given the recent decline in the company's way of doing things, and the magnitude of the current debacle, I would expect the Commission to show some interest once everyone returns from the holidays.

I wonder if that will come about?

In the Racing Post on Saturday the UK Gambling Commission said they were unable to investigate as Betfair is registered in Gibralter. There is simply nothing they can do as Betfair do not trade (legally speaking) in the UK. I think the Betfair statement needs to be interpreted in the context of this.
 

pokeraddict

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Las Vegas
In reference to vinylweatherman, my point is that is a line is obviously wrong, most (all?) sportsbooks will void it. If a team that is heavily favored is displayed as a 28-1 dog the house can say that is an obvious bad line and void all bets. Perhaps Betfair being an exchange would fall under a different category. They obviously have some questions to answer but considering their past I am sure that nothing will come from it. If the bet had won, Betfair would have certainly allowed the wager to take place and raked a fortune. This was a total freeroll which is the disturbing side.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Thanks, threescatters - it was a genuine question based on a comment made publicly by a Betfair spokesman just a week back - he said that the company would cooperate fully if required by the UK Gambling Commission; perhaps he was out of the loop or was mistakenly referring to the Gibraltar authorities.
 

sidhudgens

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ft myers fl
THERE IS MORE HERE THAN MEETS THE EYE

It would seem that it would be an almost physical (& technical) impossibility for Betfair to allow so many bets when the so-called bettor had less than $1000 in his account. What is interesting to me that Betfair has bots of their own. They have stepped out of the business from Facilitator to Bookmaker. If this was, in fact, a Betfair 'bot' or a rogue Betfair employee than the bets should be paid
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
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Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Thanks, threescatters - it was a genuine question based on a comment made publicly by a Betfair spokesman just a week back - he said that the company would cooperate fully if required by the UK Gambling Commission; perhaps he was out of the loop or was mistakenly referring to the Gibraltar authorities.

He may have said this for PUNTERS to hear so that they felt Betfair had nothing to hide, but management knew full well that this bluff was never going to be called by the UK Gambling Commission. This was a public statement made by what must have been a senior employee with the full backing of his superiors, so there is NO excuse for the ENTIRE TEAM being unaware that Betfair were regulated by Gibraltar.

The fact that this "minor detail" has come to light so quickly is going to make them regret trying to pull the wool yet again by making a statement that sounded impressive, but meant nothing at all.

It also shows that pervasive incompetence at senior levels is STILL just as much an issue as it was during the happy hour fiasco, and that despite numerous management changes, nothing has improved.

We can only look forward to the next screw-up, and hope that it gets so bad that dormant regulators are FORCED to take their task more seriously, rather than be happy to rubber stamp the license and watch the fees roll in.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
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Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
New development

BETFAIR APPEASES SOME PUNTERS OVER VOIDED BETS (Update)

Certain categories to receive ex gratia payment

Betfair has released a statement following a backlash from punters and industry observers over the company voiding bets on the Christmas Hurdle horse race at Leopardstown last month following a technology failure.

Considering internal discussions, recommendations from the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner (GGC) on a detailed report Betfair submitted to the authority and extensive customer consultation, the company has reviewed its decision to void all in-running bets matched on the race and will compensate, via ex gratia payments, certain categories of the voided bets, it announced today (Wednesday).

The relevant accounts are reported to have been credited and the company points out that the compensation goes beyond the GCC's recommendations.

According to the statement the following categories of bets compensated are:

1. In-play winning positions in both the ‘win’ and the ‘to be placed’ markets which were achieved before the technology failure; and

2. In-play winning positions in the ‘to be placed’ market achieved at any time through to the completion of the race.

Bets matched in the ‘win’ market after the technology failure will remain void with Betfair referring complaints to the Independent Betting Arbitration Service.

Steve Morana, interim chief executive officer at Betfair, said at the time that the company realised how much damage the incident has caused to its reputation as well as its share price, which dipped significantly before the exchange closed following the debacle.
 
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