So today’s big news is the announcement that Betfair and Paddy Power are to merge. As someone who makes a living from the betting exchanges this is obviously very important news to me. So what’s my thoughts on it?
Over the years there have been many changes to the exchanges. We have seen Betdaq emerging as a serious alternative to Betfair. Betfair established the Sports exchange and did it very well for many years. Since the Company went public they have been losing their way. It seems they want to be a mainstream Bookmaker and the ship is being steered that way whatever they say. So what does this mean for us? The exchange user.
If we look back over the years and the massive changes that Betfair have introduced. Starting with Cross matching, Premium Charge and the Sportsbook. All have impacted the exchange. Some in more noticeable ways than others. But it rolls on. yes, it’s imperfect, but it still works and I am still able to operate with reasonable results. Is this the end? NO!!!!
There is lots of scaremongering going around the forums and Twitter. Many think Paddy Power are going to close the exchange down? isn’t that a bit like buying a new car and then setting it on fire outside your house? It would make no sense. My concerns lie with the longer term strategy. Whatever way you look at the betting industry moving forward into the next decade and beyond. Online gaming is where it’s at. If it’s true that most of a bookmakers profits come from F.O.B.T’s in their shops, It’s clear to see that the Government are on that gravy train and will either want a bigger piece of the action or the “outraged” lobby will have their way and get them banned or make the stakes akin to a 2p slot machine in Brighton pavilion.
Lets remember that Paddy Power have acquired Betfair. NOT the other way around, Has Paddy Power spotted that Betfair has an awesome Sportsbook? No chance. We all know that’s a joke. They offer the worse prices across the industry. But they do have a 3.9 million user database. So in effect PP will have going on 4 million new customers (minus the 1m Betfair users that they have banned 🙂 ) Did Ladbrokes close down Betdaq when they acquired it? No, No one can argue that Betdaq is in a better place now.
The exchange model is here to stay. people want it, and it makes money. The very best businesses are the ones that give their customers what they want. Not what they want their customers to have. Betfair have lost their way, no doubt about that. I don’t really care anymore what they do. One door closes and another always opens.