I like BetFair and the BetFair people very much. I was the only blogger to talk up the BetFair starting price system and the BetFair brand-new bet-matching logic. But the other face of the coin is that 2 aspects of their model are rotten to the core.
BetFair was created in 1999 and started off in 2000. Since that time, 2 major things arrived on the world scene. Number one, we have seen the emergence of the prediction market approach. Number two, the Web has taken our lives, and Google has become the dominant Internet search engine. Here are how these 2 major trends are affecting BetFair negatively.
- Decimal Odds (a.k.a. Digital Odds). – The prediction market approach means that we attack the public with the news and their associated probabilistic predictions, expressed in percentages, where high prices mean high probabilities of happening. BetFair, at the contrary, approach the public with a betting universe and an arcane vocabulary (”-backing”- and “-laying”-) where low prices mean high probabilities of happening. That is totally counter intuitive.
- Non-Indexable Prediction Market Webpages. – Like it or not, Google is now the world’-s #1 media. We “-google”- anything, first thing in the morning. None of the BetFair prediction market webpages can be indexed by Google and the other Internet search engines. That means that BetFair is missing out, in my estimation, on hundreds of thousands of Google visitors each year. Those Google visitors will favor other prediction exchanges (e.g., HubDub) whose prediction market webpages are indexed naturally by the Internet search engines.
The British, who drive on the wrong side of the road, don’-t have the 2 most important keys of the future.