Betfair Reveals MatchMe Feature
Betting Exchange Heavyweight Betfair has unveiled a new matched betting guarantee service. The company claims its new MatchMe betting assistant will increase the number of bets matched.
Betfair, which claims to be the world’s largest online betting exchange, has introduced a new smart betting assistant. Called MatchMe, the company say that its functionality will enable more customer’s bets to be successfully matched.
Available for ‘back’ bets, Betfair developed the assistant for markets that see rapid changes in prices or for markets where liquidity is low and will be available for both desktop versions of the website and via the Betfair app.
The company is rolling out the functionality to the UK and overseas markets with the exception of Spain, Italy, New Zealand and Australia. It is an optional service that punters can activate or deactivate at any time, and if the MatchMe assistant is unable to match a bet, the request will appear as a standard unmatched bet.
The company already offers a Best Price Execution feature which Betfair claims to enable customers to get matched at the best available odds on the exchange. When enabled, if better odds are available or become available, the customer’s bets will automatically be matched with the higher odds. Betfair state that MatchMe works alongside the Best Price Execution and employs ‘smart logic’ to find the best odds for the customer’s stake.
An example used by industry insiders is, a bet is placed on Manchester United to win at 6/4 (2.5) with MatchMe enabled, and the odds move to 7/5 (2.4) while the bet is being processed, rather than the system refusing the bet as the price is no longer available, the bet will be matched at 7/5. The bet is placed due to the difference between 6/4 and 7/5 being within the threshold for MatchMe to proceed with placing the bet.
When placing a bet with MatchMe enabled at 6/4, in the example, the maximum change in returns is 13%, which has led to betting experts questioning if this is a good option as customers could be matched at odds lower than they intended.
Despite these reservations, for some consumers, MatchMe will save them time and effort. Historically, if Betfair Exchange customers could not have their bet matched, they would have to either cancel their bet or edit it and accept a lower price. The automated nature of the assistant will make the process much simpler.
Betfair were one of the original pioneers of the betting exchange idea, which has a different business model than traditional bookmakers use. The first bet accepted when the service launched in 2000 was at the Oaks at the Epsom Derby meeting.
While uptake in matched betting started slow (around £3,400 matched in the first market), it gained popularity with punters due to the odds available often being much higher than those offered at traditional bookmakers.
The company employed guerrilla marketing tactics when it launched in 2000, hitting the front page of the business section in The Sunday Times after the company paraded a coffin around Finsbury Circus with signs stating, “the bookie is dead – make your own market”.
Betfair, now part of Flutter Entertainment, was an independent company listed on the London Stock Exchange before merging with Paddy Power on 2 February 2016.