Betdaq Review

If you bet on exchanges, the chances are you use Betfair and, equally as likely, you've always thought that there wasn't really much of an alternative. Well, for a good number of years, that was indeed the case.

But if there was a prize for persistence, then Dermot Desmond, Irish serial entrepreneur, deserves it for his efforts to challenge Betfair's perceived monopoly stranglehold of the betting exchange market.

Betdaq has been known to 'seed' its markets since its inception. That is, the company has added liquidity to the betting pools in order to make it more attractive to bettors. And that's a strategy that appears to be paying off.

Close inspection of the odds to trade each morning on UK racing show that there is little to choose between the two sites any more. Indeed, on many horses/races, there is both a bigger volume to trade and better odds to back on Betdaq in the morning.

But how is the exchange to use, and why open an account there, rather than just stick with 'good old' Betfair?

Firstly, how easy is Betdaq to use? 

Well, if you have pop-up blockers disabled, it's very easy. If not, you'll need to do that (or create an exception in your browser), in order to complete the registration process. It took me about five minutes to register a new account last night, and in a minute I'll tell you why I did that.

As far as identifying markets goes, it's pretty familiar, only in purple rather than blue. Essentially, Betdaq has a very similar interface to its rival, although with slightly less sports available, it is more navigable as there's no need to scroll down if the event you wish to wager begins with a letter towards the end of the alphabet. (Is it just me who gets irritated by that?!)

Indeed, the 'purple' interface is set up with footy at the top, then horse racing, then cricket, tennis, golf, etc. In other words, it's order is defined by the most popular sports, which makes sense.

The sub-menu's are exactly the same as 'the other exchange', so you'll find your way around pronto.

I find it extremely easy to use, and if you're familiar with Betfair then this will hold no fears whatsoever.

I've got an exchange account already. So why should I open an account?

There are numerous reasons, actually, some of which are temporary and advantageous right now. And others are simply good practice in a number of situations. Let's deal with those in reverse order.

Firstly, Betdaq allows a minimum stake of 50p. Now if you bet a lot more than that, then that's neither here nor there. But for those who have been ostracised by the £2 minimum stake on Betfair (ignoring the rather tedious and convaluted workaround), then this offers better odds to everyone.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Which brings me onto to my second point. As a consequence of the rise in liquidity on Betdaq, there are now plenty of instances every day when the available prices there are better than at Betfair. True, sometimes the liquidity is limited and this is something you need to keep an eye on event by event, as you would when checking the odds with an odds comparison site, like the wonderful 😉

In fact, there is an option there to instantly compare exchange odds only, as per the screenshot below:

Exchange Comparison at

Exchange Comparison at


Thirdly, no exchange, betting site, or website for that matter, has 100% uptime. This can be excruciating if you're in a position that you wanted to trade out of and your exchange goes down. This happens, and it happens on a Saturday afternoon as well!

A way to insure yourself against such a precarious prospect is to have a second account. Sure, you'll need to fund both, but that's a good bit better than staring down the barrel if you're a trader.

"But Matt, why are you mentioning this now?"

Good question! Two reasons, actually. Firstly, I know that an increasing number of people are getting fed up with shoddy treatment from 'the boys in blue' exchange, especially in light of their draconian trading taxes.

This is leading to... well, not exactly an exodus, but certainly a backlash, and Betdaq are the key beneficiaries via the aforementioned enhanced liquidity/more competitive odds. Incidentally, it goes without saying that you're looking at an odds benefit over traditional bookies in line of that with Betfair: in other words, between 10 and 30% depending on where in the odds range you're playing at.

The second reason, which I discovered a couple of days ago, is that Betdaq are really upping their game in search of new customers, and therefore better odds for all in their exchange.

To that end, they're not only offering 2.5% commission on all bets until the end of 2011 - which is 50% less than you'll pay elsewhere and renders their odds better in most all cases, at the top end of the market - but they're also giving up to £200 in free bets away as well.*

Although halving your commission rate might sound trivial, let me exemplify why it's important. The below is a summary table of 201 bets, with a 1 in 3 strike rate at average odds of 9/4 (or 3.25 in exchange speak).

Difference 2.5% commission makes, even for a relatively small number of bets at a reasonable stake

Difference 2.5% commission makes, even for a smallish number of bets at a reasonable stake

*As always, there are conditions which apply here, and I've reproduced them below, in italics.

€/£200 Free Bet Terms and Conditions: • To avail of the €/£200 free bet promotion customers must enter code ALLBDQ03 at registration. • On paying €/£25 in commission a qualifying customer will be given a €/£25 free bet. • For each additional €/£100 in commission paid, the customer will be given an additional free bet of €/£25 until a cumulative total of €/£200 in free bets has been awarded. • Accounts which have met qualifying conditions will have free bets credited within 72 hours. • Free Bets balances cannot be withdrawn until they have been bet with at odds of 1.5 or greater. • Members cannot match free bets with themselves. 

What about the bits and bobs of admin?

Betdaq accommodates the usual array of deposit methods, from posting a cheque, to debit and credit cards, to bank transfers, to 'ewallets' such as netTeller and moneybookers. Note, Betdaq doesn't support PayPal, probably because like most of the rest of us, they can't get an account!

The payment processing has the level of robustness you'd expect from a site dealing in millions of pounds of online transactions per day, so no frets on that score.

Online help is good, though I've no idea whether the human intervention type (i.e. phone/email support) is any cop. Hopefully, I'll never need to know.

Review Summary

In this day and age of choice, I know that many (indeed, most) of you have numerous bookmaker accounts in order to avail of best prices, best odds guaranteed, money-back specials, and so on. Quite right too!

But it's more akin to personal banking on the exchange front, as whilst 70% of respondents stated they had a Betfair account, less than 20% have any other exchange account.

Now is an ideal time to address that, and to take advantage of a real incentive in the shape of 2.5% commission. To be honest, I'm not even especially bothered about the free bets - they'll arrive in due course. But I know that halving my commission makes a massive difference over time.

I don't like giving money away needlessly, and Betfair in my opinion have enough (although their ailing shareholders may disagree). So I'm more than happy to take advantage of the commission differential for at least the next three months and, if my experience is a positive one and the odds acceptable, it's possible that I may finish up with a new first choice exchange.

Time will tell on that, but for now, I'm betting with the purple firm over the blue one whenever the odds are in my favour. And, given the commission differential, that's most of the time!

You can sign up for a Betdaq account, and get three months of 2.5% commission and some other free bet type stuff, here.

[poll id="31"]

Your first 30 days for just £1
22 replies
  1. paul
    paul says:

    Matt- I was thinking just the same the other day when I heard about Betfair ripping off those jackpot tote players, disgraceful. If Betdaq survived this long against a giant like Betfair they must be doing something right. Must check out the Purple!

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Amazing Paul – I’d missed that, though just read the below. Funnily enough, I’d commented on the live blog that there might be problems getting bets into the pools late, which is why I went in about 25 minutes before the off. Here’s how the Telegraph reported the story – another (very) black mark against Betfair, is this…

      More than 10 punters who lost out on a £16,610 Tote jackpot after Betfair failed to process their wagers in time will only have their stakes refunded, the betting exchange has said.

      In a statement that infuriated some Betfair clients, the company on Tuesday admitted to “technical issues in transmitting bets into the Tote pools in the last 10 minutes before the pool closed”.

      However, Betfair refused to honour the bets of punters who thought they had won the jackpot after finding six winners at Newmarket last Friday.

      Apologising, Betfair said it had only “returned funds for the failed bets”, claiming that “at no point were these customers given confirmation that their bets had been successfully placed, or appeared as placed in their account statement”.

      That appeared to contradict remarks of some customers, including bloodstock manager Nick Bradley. He staked £12,000 – meaning he lost out on a £4,610 profit – and said the funds were “taken out of” his Betfair account. Company sources admitted the stakes may have been removed temporarily.

      Some small punters lost out on a £16,000-plus profit

      I suspect Betfair have some serious issues, as the rather alarming chart of its share price here shows:


  2. John
    John says:

    Hi Matt, Do you know of a bot that can arb betfair against betdaq and vice versa.

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi John

      I’m afraid not, though I know you can use GHB (and others?) on both exchanges. Not sure whether they’ll attempt the arb’s though. Remember to calculate the commission when arbing as well.


  3. Matt Bisogno
    Matt Bisogno says:

    From Jim B, another point in favour of Betdaq:


    I’ve had a Betdaq account for years, they are excellent.

    One point you overlooked is that they offer 2% commission on all football Asian handicap bets, and have done for a long time now. Betfair are rubbish at AH football bets anyway, the liquidity is fine at Betdaq and as it’s an area I bet in frequently Betdaq works a treat for me.

    Jim B

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Also, Betdaq offer 2% commission for in-running bettors/traders as well, I’ve just been told.


  4. Mezza
    Mezza says:

    Whilst Betdaq are certainly getting better a good friend of mine – darts player Wayne Mardle had a ongoing argument over just trying to make a withdrawl. I’m not talking thousands of pounds here, it was less than £500. He simply wanted to withdraw £300 and clicked on the relevent bits and waited, and waited. Contacted Betdaq via email and waited and then telephoned them. They said it was just taking a little longer than usual to process. After 2 weeks he telephoned again and was given the same speech about process, so asked to completely close his account. In total it took 23 days to get his funds.
    I’m not saying this happens to everyone, but beware. Betdaq are not a site i would use.

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Mezza,

      Can you tell me what the reasons behind that were? Perhaps he was betting on darts? Perhaps they were investigating untypical betting patterns?

      I’m not saying anything except we all know these things happen and it’s not impossible that there was an investigation of some sort going on. Does that sound possible?


  5. chris
    chris says:

    Hi Matt,

    I haven’t used BETDAQ in a a while as I tended to find that I got better odds at BETFAIR, but I have to say I’m no fan of BETFAIR after my experience of their promotions/cons.

    If that is no longer the case then I will certainly start using BETDAQ again.

  6. Liam
    Liam says:

    I was just reading all of the above and it brings me back to yesterday when I commented on Bet fair In France and Bet fair in England:
    The French put 100.00 Euro on Lone Ranger to Win. Less 5% commission
    The English put 100.00 GBP on Lone Ranger to Win. Less 5% commission
    Who is risking more at minimum bet price? and Why?
    who is paying Bet fair more in commission?
    Set up a Bet fair account in Euro’s to lower your commission.
    Bet fair needs to ask itself, Is this bordering on discrimination?

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Two more things Liam:

      1. bet with betdaq and bet as little as 50p, which is less than a euro
      2. you cannot use Betfair in France (at least, not with their permission).


    • Dave
      Dave says:

      Liam just a quick point . 100euro is less money than £100 so of course you’d be paying less commission. You wouldn’t be lowering your commission at all you’d just be risking less on the original bet.

  7. Brian cee
    Brian cee says:

    been using betdaq for the last few years . and have never had a problem withdrawing funds . plus 2.5 % comission helps aswell .

  8. Mezza
    Mezza says:

    Hi Matt,
    Spoke to Wayne last night about this and he said that he had opened the account with them about 6 months ago and not really used it too much. But he then remembered he had the account and was betting on greyhounds mainly with the odd bet on premiership football. It was after one of his dog bets did well he thought he would make a withdrawl and treat his missus and then the probs started. The withdrawl process was straightforward enough and Wayne waited for the funds to appear in his bank account.. Whenever Wayne spoke to them they said they did not know why it was taking so long to process. As i mentioned it took a total of 23 days for the funds to appear in his bank account and he never got a explanation for the delay.
    I know Betdaq are improving and don’t wish to put anyone off, after all it’s really horses for courses.

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      That’s interesting, Mezza. Thanks for sharing. Did he ever get an explanation for why it took so long?


  9. norm
    norm says:

    Fascinated by your piece, Matt, and by the various comments. Just wish I understood it all! I’m happy to stay a bit antediluvian with my betting! I’m mainly a horse-racing bettor, so the “old ways” suit me.

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      No problem Norm – antediluvian, Luddites, modernists, they’re all welcomed alike in this most catholic (small ‘c’) of places! 😉


  10. Roy Carter
    Roy Carter says:

    Hello Matt, Following your article I tried to open a Betdaq account. Had trouble at first and emailed them for advice – they said I had to disable pop-ups. Did this and put my details and debit card number in (there was ample funds to cover my starting bank) but unsuccessful. Emailed Betdaq again and was told to send a passport size photo and utility bill to Dublin. Needless to say I gave up and doing all my betting back on Betfair.

    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      That’s quite incredible, Roy! Where are you based? UK or overseas?


  11. Roy Carter
    Roy Carter says:

    Based Hastings Matt. Made slight error in previous comments – I had to disable pop-up blocker. Which I did and finally signed on for an account at Betdaq but still could not deposit funds. Yet there is ample in my account to cover the bank I wanted with them.

  12. Frank
    Frank says:

    Hi Matt

    Thank you for the insight to Betfair! I have monitored their bearish share price, and along with the multitude of comments I have decided to heed the warning and closed my a/c.

    Kind regards


Comments are closed.