With more than 50 years of excellent service, Betfred is almost a household name at this point. It’s hard to question the reliability of this storied bookmaker, but can they keep up with all the new betting sites popping up as competition? We’ve seen it time and time again: long-running, well-established brands getting dug in and complacent, leaving room for younger operators to claw their way to the forefront with innovation.
Luckily, that’s not the case with Betfred. They saw the writing on the wall when it comes to online sports betting, and their yearly turnover skyrocketed by about 500% after the launch of their betting site. If that doesn’t convince the oldtimers about the efficiency of online sportsbooks compared to brick-and-mortar betting shops, nothing will.
So, let’s see what pushed the Betfred online betting platform to such success.
Quality Forged in Experience
Betfred started as a single shop in Salford in 1967 as Done Bookmakers, named after its founders Fred and Peter Done. In a true punter’s fashion, the initial funding was made with a winning bet. The bet in question was placed on England famously winning the 1966 World cup, no less.
The gesture would turn out to be more prophetic than they probably realized at that point because Betfred is heavily focused on the UK betting market to this day. We’ll elaborate on this later, but you should keep it in mind – Betfred is one of the top online bookmakers for UK punters.
Thought the second half of the 20th century, the business that the Done brothers had founded kept steadily growing. A single shop soon became a chain of locations throughout England, culminating with an acquisition of the Robert Walker chain of bookie shops in 1997. By the year 2000, Betfred could boast a total of over 200 shops across the nation, even though they only moved into London in 2002.
As we mentioned earlier, Betfred’s incredibly successful betting site first went online in 2004. Their annual turnover jumped up from around £550 million to a jaw-dropping £3.5 billion. The customers liked what Betfred had to offer, and were hungry for more. With that in mind, Betfred’s website was never a mere sportsbook. It was always intended as a complete online gambling platform, offering online casinos, online games, bingo, lotto, online poker and virtual sports as well as pool betting.
During the early years of the website, Betfred made a benchmark in the history of sports betting. In November 2004, one of their customers became the first betting shop millionaire by winning £1,132,657 on a horse racing tote bet.
The company didn’t take this explosion as a sign to focus more on internet gambling. Instead, the surge in profits was used to springboard their dominance over the British betting shop scene. By 2017, Betfred ended up operating over 1500 shops throughout the UK – although a chunk of this is attributed to the merger with fellow bookie giants Ladbrokes and Coral. Additionally, they control the wagers on over 50 horse racecourses, including Newmarket and Cheltenham.
So, what does all of this tell us about this particular gambling company? For starters, it’s easy to see why the UK is such a big focus for them – after all, it’s the birthplace of the whole success story. Furthermore, is it a surprise that the best place for Cheltenham betting is with the same bookie who runs the Festival’s on-course betting?
Licensing & Safety
The company information we just went through makes it pretty clear: Betfred is a high-profile bookmaker. This fact has its downsides, but one thing is clear: they could not afford publicised scandals over safety and legality.
In other words, Betfred is the holder of two of the arguably most respected remote gambling licenses in the world. For UK punters using both the online sportsbook and the betting shops, this is the Gambling Commission of Great Britain.
Betfred’s online operation is based in Gibraltar and registered under the name Petfre. This means that all other users are regulated by the Gibraltar Government’s gambling commissioner. Gibraltar is the home of a lot of the world’s top online bookmakers, which means that this license is one of the most highly regarded of its kind.
Beyond that, you don’t need to worry about the security or privacy of any transactions made with Betfred. This side of things is handled by Trustwave, a very respected information security company. Betfred has a clean record when it comes to security breaches and leaks, and their encryption protocols are regularly reviewed and kept up to the highest standards.
Moreover, this bookie works closely with IBAS, the Independent Betting Adjudication Service. This is a third-party organization tasked with settling disputes between bookmakers and their customers. You can rest easy knowing that, even if issues do come up, you will be treated fairly and with integrity.
While we're n the topic, Betfred is also known to co-operate closely with independent organisations such as When The Fun Stops. The goal of such projects is to address the issue of problem gambling and combat addiction and similar problems. Bookmakers and gambling companies aren’t exactly perceived well by the general public, and upstanding examples like Betfred are dedicated to improving this image, which is commendable.
However, due to differing legal restrictions all over the world, there are several countries whose residents are not allowed to use Betfred’s services. This is a normal thing in the betting industry, considering gambling is a highly regulated business. In any case, we recommend making sure you can legally wager and receive winnings before registering.
Deposit and Withdrawals
Plenty of payment options is one of the hallmarks of a user-friendly, top-rated betting site. Your options with Betfred are not ground-breaking in their variety, but the most important bases are covered, and we feel like most regular users won’t have any issues.
So, getting right into it, Betfred supports most major credit and debit cards, such as Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro. In terms of e-wallets, you can also use PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller, as well as the Paysafecard. Of course, if you’re from the UK, you can also make payments directly onto your Betfred account with cash by going to any of the hundreds of betting shops which belong to the Betfred chain.
Additionally, if you’re willing to wait a bit, you can also rely on bank wire transfers. This is also the only method that does not have limits in terms of the maximum or minimum amount.
While you can use whichever banking method you prefer, keep in mind they have different limits when it comes to deposit and withdrawal limits. The minimum deposit is 5£ for all options. However, credit and debit cards are limited to £20,000. The max amount for Skrill deposits is £8,000, while Neteller and PayPal payments are limited to £15,000.
Withdrawal limits are pretty much identical to deposit limits. 5£ minimum across the board; credit/debit cards have a maximum of £20,000, Neteller’s max is £15,000, and Skrill’s is £8,000. Paypal, however, has a maximum withdrawal amount of £5,000.
Card withdrawals are processed within 1-3 days, while all e-wallet transactions are handled within 24 hours. Also, all of these options are completely free of any fees or tariffs.
The only exception to this is, again, bank transfers. The time required depends on the bank you’re using, but it typically does not take any longer than 2 weeks. In terms of fees, you can have one free bank transfer every month. If you want to make any more wire transfers you’ll need to pay a fee between £12 and £25. Transfers to international bank accounts can be different, though. You may be required to provide additional documents to perform these, and banks often apply extra charges to such transactions.
You should also keep in mind that there are different limits in terms of how much you can win with a wager. Betfred’s maximum payouts depend on the sport in question. Here they are for some of the most popular categories:
- Football: £1,000,000
- Horse Racing: £1,000,000
- Tennis: £100,000
- Basketball: £100,000
This is one of the highest payouts for Horse Racing bets in the industry.
Customer relations are the backbone of any company’s image, and a respected online bookie such as Betfred could not afford to drop the ball in this aspect of their business. Thankfully, they haven’t.
Betfred user reviews compare favourably to most of their competition, and we can safely say that their customers are satisfied. Our tests of the customer service all went smoothly, with polite and helpful staff who are quick to answer questions and resolve issues.
While we cannot say that we were amazed or that our experience stood out from the competition, we also have nothing negative to say about Betfred’s customer service. Betting Fellow puts safety and fairness above all else, so this bookie’s efforts to meet our high standards is commendable.
Should you need to contact Betfred’s support staff for any reason, here are the channels by which you may do so:
24/7 Live Chat:An absolute must-have for betting sites in 2020, live chats are our favourite method of communicating with service providers. It’s quick, easy, and does not have any of the downsides of phone calls such as international call charges and being put on hold
Email Support:Another staple of modern communication, you can reach Betfred at [email protected]
Telephone Support: If you want to talk to someone directly you may do so by calling the following numbers: 0800 028 7747 for callers from inside the UK and +44 1925 878269 for everyone else
FAQ and Help Centre: The easiest way of finding answers is by consulting Betfred’s help section. We have seen more comprehensive FAQs in our time, but you can still find plenty of information here
All of these features can be accessed right on the Betfred website by selecting the “Help” option on the left-hand side of the page.
Market & Odds
We’ll again bring up the fact that Betfred is a British bookmaker at its core. Why? Because the most popular sports for betting among Brits are the standouts with their offer.
First up, let’s look at football betting. More specifically, Premier League betting is a definite high-point with Betfred. For starters, the odds are some of the best you’ll be able to find.
Premier League betting offers are also often bolstered by attractive promotions and bonuses. Of course, punters who know what they’re doing also look for variety when it comes to betting markets, and Betfred doesn’t disappoint here either. Select events can boast more than 300 different markets, which is a lot by any measure.
There’s a lot of great betting sites for football betting, however. After all, it is the world’s most popular sport, and many bookies can match Betfred’s quality. What they cannot match, however, is their outstanding Horse Race betting offer. This is what they’ve built most of their brand on, and it shows. Not only do they hold on to a policy of best odds guaranteed, but they have coverage of pretty much every horse racing event in the world. Whether you're looking Irish, Indian, or just Grand National races – Betfred is a great place for your needs.
Betfred is also noted for their use of totepool horse race bets. As the current owner of The Tote itself, Betfred is in a unique position to offer this unique bet type.
While these two sports form a strong foundation for this betting site, they’re far from the full offer. There’s plenty of options to chose from; however, obscure and niche betting markets are not as well-represented as on some other sites of this calibre. Still, we’re only talking about the really small markets here, so this will only affect a tiny percentage of punters.
We should point out, though, that e-sport betting is possible using this platform as well.
Of course, a bookie would not have made it this far without an impressive offer in terms odds. Betfred’s are good enough to compare to the best of them. It’s also remarkable that no matter which event or sport you look at, the odds stay competitive.
Almost any event on Betfred can also be wagered on live. Live betting is an indispensable part of every major bookmaker’s offer, but how this feature is implemented can vary greatly. For example, betting sites sometimes only offer the option for major sports and events.
As far as we can tell, Betfred’s in-play coverage is almost as extensive as the standard sportsbook. Some events, however, do stand out. The number of in-play markets can be anywhere between hundreds for football events to just a few options for categories such as e-sports and volleyball.
Of course, cash-outs are also possible in case you want to cut your losses or secure a win early.
All in all, while it is obvious in-play betting is not Betfred’s primary focus, the option is still there. If this is your preferred way of sports wagering, you won’t find much to complain about.
BetFred Live Streaming Offer
Betfred’s size and financial power allowed them to secure broadcast licensing for a multitude of sporting events.
At this point, horse race live streaming is the standout here. Betfred has excellent coverage of all UK and Irish races. All you need is a minimum stake of £1 on any event, and you can watch the action unfold live right on the Betfred website.
In the same vein, football streams are also fairly regular. While some crowd favourites such as the Premier League or the Champions League are not available (on any betting platform, as far as we’re aware), other major European leagues such as the Bundesliga or La Liga are. As long as you have a placed wager or at least 1£ on your account you can watch any match you want.
Beyond that, you can also watch Greyhounds, Ice Hockey, Basketball, Tennis, Snooker, Cricket, Badminton, Handball, Volleyball, Baseball, and Darts.
BetFred Bookmaker Margin
When we’re comparing bookmaker betting odds, most of the time it just comes down to how big of a cut the bookie takes. In Betfred’s case, the margins are lower than the industry average. This is good for the customer, as it means you can make bigger profits with your bets.
Betfred’s margins average out to around 4.8% across the board. The best offers, in typical Betfred fashion, are for football: 3.5%, which is far below most of the competition. However, as we’ve already stated while talking about the odds, other sports are not lagging far behind. The worst offers are for tennis and basketball: 5.9% and 5.5%. respectively. Which is still pretty good compared to most of the other top betting sites.
To sum up, Betfred is the complete package. Whether you want to bet in shops or online, live or pre-match, on popular sports or niche categories – this bookie will not disappoint. If you happen to be a football or horse racing fan from Ireland or the UK, you can rest assured you’ll be in good hands with Betfred. Everyone else will still be hard-pressed to find a better alternative.
There are still some features of Betfred’s service we haven’t talked about yet: they also have a dedicated mobile betting app for betting on the go.
Betfred’s position as top dog of the sports betting industry remains unchallenged, and if you’ve read our review thoroughly – it’s easy to see why.
How to open an account at BetFred?
To spice things up even further, Betfred offers a pretty decent welcome bonus. Just place a stake of £10 or more on any wager with odds of 1/1 or more, and you’ll receive £30 in free bets. First, though, you’ll have to register.
- Head over to Betfred.com and click the ‘register’ button at the top right of the page.
- Next, you’ll need to provide personal information such as full name, date of birth, billing address.
- The final step will require you to complete KYC verification. This will require a form of official personal identification. Depending on your country of residence and preferred payment methods, other documents may be required.
BetFred review FAQ
Are Betfred best odds guaranteed?
Being the world’s premier horse race betting site, yes – Betfred does offer best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse races
Can you use Betfred abroad?
There are a lot of countries whose residents cannot access Betfred, so the answer to this question depends on a lot of different factors. IS Betfred available in the country you’re visiting? Is sports betting legal in the country you’re visiting? Are you planning to merely place a wager or do you want to deposit/withdraw funds as well?
Generally, waiting until you’re back home is the safest course of action. Otherwise, we recommend that you look up local laws and Betfred’s policy toward the country in question.
Betfred – how to change to decimal odds?
You can freely choose your preferred odds format in your account settings. You will find the settings on the left-hand side panel of the page. Available formats include fractional, decimal, and US Moneyline.
Betfred - how long do withdrawals take?
Generally, withdrawals with Betfred take 2 days or less. This timeframe may vary depending on your preferred payment method. You can find more details about Betfred’s deposits and withdrawals in the corresponding section of this review.
Betfred – how long to get free bet?
The free bets Betfred is offering as part of their signup bonus deal are received only after you’ve placed a bet of £10 at odds of evens or greater on any sports market. You will receive the free bets within 10 hours of your qualifying bet settling.