Betfair Policy on Unplanned Outages

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Betfair Policy on Unplanned Outages

Postby MarkRussell » Fri May 06, 2011 9:12 am

In case you haven't seen this announcement, here it is:-

Unplanned Outages: Betfair’s Customer Commitment

When crashed on a busy Saturday in March, you asked what we would do to protect your bets in the event of any unplanned outages in the future. We’ve listened to your feedback and really value it. We’d like to address some of your most frequently asked questions.

Here’s our new, transparent outages policy which we believe tells you exactly where you stand and creates a level playing field for customers who are using the site at the time of an outage.

1. How will Betfair maintain a level playing field around outages?

One of your key concerns was that during outages some customers are able to place bets through channels such as Betfair Mobile and our API, potentially gaining an unfair advantage over customers betting via the website.

In the event of an unplanned Sports Exchange outage, we will disable the betting functionality across all channels, ensuring a level playing field. However, should Betfair Mobile and/or our API go down, you will be able to continue betting on the Sports Exchange and this will not constitute an outage.

2. Will my bets be cancelled?

We will now cancel unmatched bets in the following instances:
• Unmatched bets on markets which are In-Play at any time during an outage.
• Bets which, when an outage ends, are unmatched on horse and greyhound races that are due to take place within the next 20 minutes; also, financial markets bets which are unmatched at the start of an outage. These markets are included because they are particularly volatile and are subject to notable odds fluctuations.
• Bets which, at the moment betting is disabled, are unmatched on outright winner markets where there may be material price changes due to related In-Play events. For example, a tennis tournament winner market when a tournament semi-final is taking place at the time an outage begins.

The purpose of this policy is to give you clarity regarding the status of your bets. It means that your unmatched bets should not be matched at odds that don’t reflect market fluctuations that occur while there is an outage. For example, a price offered on a tennis match which has just started when an outage begins is unlikely to be a fair and reflective price at the end of the outage when a player may be leading by one set.

3. What is Betfair’s definition of an outage?

The point at which Betfair disables betting on is the official start time of an outage. The end of an outage will be when Betfair re-enables betting and service is restored. We will publish the start and end times of an outage as quickly as possible to provide transparency to all customers.

Betfair will disable betting when we believe the site has become unusable, which may be a consequence of one or more of the following situations arising:
• Customers are unable to log in to or navigate the website
• Customers are unable to view prices on the website
• Customers are unable to place bets on the website
• Our Market Operations team is unable to manage markets

From time to time we will inevitably encounter minor site issues when some customers experience slowness or find the site ‘sticky’. This will NOT be defined as an outage.

Next Steps
This is not the end of our consultation with customers. Over the coming weeks we be seeking your thoughts on a wide range of issues and ideas, such as the possible cancellation of bets across a broader range of markets than those we’ve set out today.

We really value your opinions and, while we hope this commitment to fairness addresses your concerns, please contact us at if there is anything else you’d like to discuss with us.

Yours faithfully,

Niall Wass – Chief Commercial Officer
Tony McAlister – Chief Technology Officer

A short glossary of terms

Betting while an event is in progress. A white tick appears on a green background next to the event when it is in-play.

Applies to betting on the winner of an event, including tournaments such as Wimbledon or the Open Golf Championship and longer term markets such as the Champions League.

Unmatched Exchange bet:
If Betfair cannot find a customer who wants to back or lay the bet you are requesting, your bet remains unmatched.

Long-term markets:
Markets which, when first offered, may not be settled for many months - such as the Premier League - or, in the case of a General Election or the Next Manchester United Manager, perhaps several years.
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