Clearly, after last evening's Betfair crash, there's a lot of upset people out there having lost money. One only needs to read the various forums to appreciate that.

Equally, there will be some happy people around who found themselves in winning positions. They will be rubbing their hands with glee at receiving a windfall that they wouldn't have done if they'd traded out as normal. I hope they are happy that they have done so at the expense of the innocent losers.

Fortunately, I was OK in that I traded out before it completely shut down. However, as I alluded to yesterday, it is my belief that their systems started to go awry mid-afternoon - 2:55 to be precise. The markets were behaving bizarrely, jumping violently yet with little money coming in. Indeed, the prices seemed to be going through money that was sitting but not picking it up.

I feel for those traders who have lost out and I'm sure it is only a matter of time before I get hit. Still, I cannot understand Betfair's position on this.

Quite frankly, whenever there is a Betfair failure, ALL bets, in ALL markets - where those markets start or are in-play at anytime when the crash occurs - should be made void. This includes ALL bets matched in those markets BEFORE the crash occurred. That's the only way to ensure that no customer is out of pocket.

Yes, of course, those who were in a winning position would be pissed off at not getting their winnings, but at least they will not be losing money. What goes around comes around as they say and as long as Betfair failures continue being a fairly frequent occurrence, it's only a matter of time that those 'winners' will find it's their turn to have the bottoms bitten.

Someone, will always end up 'F*cked Up Beyond Believe'. Voiding ALL bets is the only way I can see to protect people.

Much of the money passing through Betfair's doors is traded. Betfair knows this. They actively encourage this. As a result, there will be many people who find themselves unable to close positions that they would normally be able to do. It is wholly unreasonable for Betfair to allow pre-crash bets stand.

Betfair have a duty of care to protect their customers cash. The way they do things at the moment, I don't think they can say that they do.


leonthefixer said...

Hi mate - good post!

I agree with you on some points, what gets to me most is the shocking customer service. Please see the threads
"Just had my first decent sized bets on Betfair's main competitor exchange"


"My letter to Betfair with regards to yesterday/todays fiasco"

Both in the General Betting forum.

They have some good discussion on the subject of the recent and previous crash.

Voiding all bets is an iffy subject and I understand the pros of doign it but also the cons of doing it. I am to be honest on the side of letting the bets stand (please don't hit me :-) ) It is a very tough decision to call, but can anyone find the statement on BF that says what actually happens, I can't. I know what happens but it seems there is no statement!

It took 40mins to get a statement up from Betfair. I phoned and told them there was problem a good bit before most noticed, the guy I spoke to had no clue there were any issues - that is shocking.

Anyway, ensure you have an account with Betdaq and the ability to off load a position on there. One day Betdaq may do something about exploiting these circumstance but it seems they are in no rush.

I am going to be posting up on all forums a topic that I hope everyone will join me in, but I am in the process of getting a mates accounts details so I can put it up in his name as he doesn't use his account anymore and the idea is likely to lead to a ban so I don't want to do it with any of my accounts.

Best of luck today!

Alistair said...

The idea of voiding bets certainly has polarised opinion amongst traders and punters alike.

I agree it is a difficult one and certainly, if I was a punter denied my winnings I'd be pretty pissed off, but I still cannot see any fairer way of doing it.

I would've thought that the vast majority of volume on Betfair is that generated by traders. By definition, they are likely to be placing opening bids that are of a much higher monetary value than Joe Punter's bets. Consequently they have, during that period before closing the trade, a much greater risk - which is encouraged by Betfair.

In my view, Betfair have a duty to protect all their customers funds in the event of a failure of their systems. The only way I can see that happening is by voiding all bets.

Anyway, this is all a mute issue as Betfair are highly unlikely to change things. So I guess you and I will have to agree to disagree.

You are right in saying that Betfair's communications are woefully inadequate. I too, haven't been able to find a statement definitively laying out what it does in the event of a crash, and how it handles user's accounts. It should be in the Terms and Conditions. If I've missed it and it there, then I apologise. If anyone knows where it is, I'd be grateful if they can point it out.