Betfair might be one of the biggest names in sports betting, but since 2006 the company's casino site has been giving players more choice over the way they play. From a customisable welcome bonus to a choice of mobile apps, Betfair Casino is now known as the place where you get to play your way.
Too often we’ve seen well-regarded and experienced sports betting operators look to make a quick buck with a poor-to-average casino site. But given the innovation and competency associated with Betfair’s core business operation, not to mention its EGR Casino Operator of the Year Award last year, we went into this review quietly optimistic that Betfair would prove to be an exception.
Safety and Trustworthiness
Betfair is one of the biggest names in world betting which should go some way to easing any concerns you might have with regards to trustworthiness. Naturally, an established brand name is great if you're catering to seasoned bettors and no one else, but it's not something that will mean much to newbies.
If you're someone that's just entered the online casino game, you'll want to see some proof that Betfair Casino is on the level. The most important piece of evidence you'll find on the homepage is two licences, one from the Malta Gaming Authority and one from the UK Gambling Commission.
In addition to these seals of approval, Betfair as a company is an authorised partner of the British Horseracing Authority. Although that won't mean much for your casino exploits, it does serve as another sign that this operator is well respected in the industry.
Finally, to ensure the site is well secured, Betfair Casino uses Norton Secured VeriSign technology, while the Return to Player (RTP) and Random Number Generator (RNG) is certified as truly random by the accredited Gaming Associates (GA), which is based in Australia
Another notch on this site's belt of credentials is its recent merger with Paddy Power. Although the Irish betting company has previously had courted controversy with its novelty betting markets, these matters took place almost a decade ago. Today, Paddy Power Betfair has become one of the largest operators in the industry, which means it's under more scrutiny than ever. The end result is a more reliable platform for you.
Overall, Betfair operates a well-run business that shouldn’t give any player cause for concern. There are only two things that prevent us from giving it the highest marks here. The first is the notorious “Happy Hour” incident, where it mistakenly offered bonus terms that were too generous and refused to pay out to players.
The second issue is the lack of clarity over its RTP and RNG auditing. It lists GA as the agency it uses, but it’s extremely difficult to find that information from the homepage, at least compared to the best sites. A bigger problem is that the last listed audit was in 2009.
True, all the games it carries are independently audited (it’s conducted at the request of the software developers), but this is one area where Betfair definitely lags.
Deposits & Withdrawals
Deposits and withdrawals are all fee-free at Betfair Casino, and the longest you'll typically have to wait when you want your winnings is five days.
If you're comparing like-for-like with regards to casino welcome bonuses, Betfair could be the best out there at the moment. Over the last couple of decades, online casino operators have typically taken two approaches when it comes to welcome bonuses: one-off deals or multi-deposit rewards.
Each strategy has its merits, but the reality is that both tactics tend to favour high-volume players. For example, if a site is offer a 100% single deposit bonus worth up to £1,000, the player would need to deposit £1,000 to get the full value out of this deal. Naturally, that's beyond the scope of most players.
Similarly, when a welcome bonus is split into parts, the way to unlock the cash requires a lot of betting in a short period of time. Again, something casual players will struggle with.
Taking all this into account, Betfair Casino has put together a selection of deals that not only give players more ways to earn something extra, it gives them a choice. This isn’t very common in the casino industry, and it’s something we’d like to see more operators try to achieve.
So what's on offer? Well, in simple terms, Betfair Casino has the following bonuses available for all new players:
100% match up to £100 (plus up to 200 free spins) - If you're someone that doesn't intend on making a large opening deposit and fancy playing a range of games, you should choose this deal. Unlocking the bonus cash requires a 45x rollover, which is perhaps a little worse than average. However, the game contributions are also better than average, with slots and arcade games counting 100%, while roulette, card games and blackjack have a 50% weighting. Better than the 10-20% average you find elsewhere. As a PlayRight user you'll also get up to 200 free spins (that's if you deposit the £50 required to claim the maximum bonus of £100), just to sweeten the deal even further.
100% match up to £1,000 - If you're a seasoned player who has a larger bankroll, this offer is for you. After claiming this deal, 100% of your slots play will count towards the 30x playthrough requirement which, for a deal like this, is great for high-volume players.
£10 live dealer bonus - In addition to the above offers, you'll also be able to pick up £10 when you play any of Betfair Casino's live dealer games. After accepting the deal and making a £10 deposit, you'll have to wager 20x that amount before you can withdraw your live dealer bonus.
When it comes to gaming options, Betfair Casino is well-stocked if not a little cluttered. The Playtech casino engine powering the site means you'll get access to more than 200 games, but the route into the action is can be a little confusing. Now, we're not saying that we dislike Betfair's software. In fact, there are some very impressive features. However, the use of rollover boxouts does, for want of a better phrase, get in the way.
As you roll your pointer over each game heading, a boxout appears and shows you some highlights from that category. In theory, this is a great feature. Unfortunately, the boxouts flash off and on a little too quickly. Moreover, they boxouts do get in the way of the main lobby and make it unclear where you actually have to click in order to play a game.
Moving beyond this point, the interface does have some useful additions. The layout of the lobby is clear, but what stands out is the additional information you can access via each game box. As well as an overview of the game, Betfair will tell you how many recent plays certain games have had over the last week, as well as the last big win. Unfortunately, RPT information is not given for every game, although there is more detail buried in the site’s Help Centre.
There are around 120 slots available via the browser-based platform, with all of Playtech’s big hitters accounted for, including the licensed Batman and Superman progressive jackpot games. There is a small selection of IGT and NetEnt slots in the Vegas Slots section, but you'll find few of the biggest titles.
Table games are well represented, too. The most popular and player-friendly variations of blackjack and roulette are all provided, as well as Playtech specials, like Age of Gods Roulette.
One particularly nice touch is the Zero Lounge, which can be found on the downloadable client. This gives you an opportunity to play roulette, blackjack, baccarat and Jacks or Better and with no house edge. Despite reduced betting limits compared to the main games, it is great value for players and fits in nicely with the player-friendly philosophy that underpins Betfair’s reputation.
Nowadays with casinos offering 500+ games from multiple games companies Betfair’s 200+ Playtech-heavy selection may seems a little lacklustre. For fans of table games and branded slots Betfair's Playtech games will more than suffice, but players looking for the latest 3D interactive slots will be better off choosing a casino running NetEnt and the smaller boutique providers like Casumo and Rizk.
Continuing the theme of giving casino players more choice, Betfair offers mobile apps for iOS users, much like most other big casino sites. What makes Betfair different, though, is that unlike other sites that lump virtual and live dealer casino games into a single app, Betfair Casino has separated them.
The benefit of doing this is that it doesn't overburden your device with an app that’s too data-heavy. In short, splitting the games into two apps has allowed the developers make each one more lightweight yet well stocked with high-quality options.
Since only a small proportion of online casino players currently play live dealer games, especially on mobile, it makes sense. Essentially, if you want a more in-depth yet more efficient mobile gaming experience, Betfair's casino apps represent a good solution.
Android users seem to be required to use a web app (basically a mobile site) for the main selection of casino games. However, it feels a lot like a regular app and contains 130 slots for instant-play.
You can access the mobile app using a QR code found on the desktop site. The Live Casino App, however, is available for Android, and can be downloaded via the web app.
Betfair Casino aren't as big on loyalty rewards as other operators, which is a shame given the welcome bonuses are so good.
This lack of casino promotions for existing customers is something we’ve seen with other big betting sites that have added casino sites to their portfolios. As elsewhere, you do get access to sports betting promos.
Yes, it would be good if there were a few more reload offers and game-specific bonuses, but you won't lose too much sleep over this if you choose the right opening offer.
The one area where Betfair Casino does excel in terms of loyalty rewards is VIP bonuses. Split into three levels - Gold, Platinum and Diamond - this system is a great way for high-volume players to get everything from exclusive deposit offers to preferential customer service and invites to exclusive events. Unfortunately, you can only become a VIP if Betfair invites you, so this deal is only really worth taking note of if you're a seasoned player.
Support at Betfair is a 24/7 operation, which means you'll have no issues getting in contact with an expert who can deal with any issue regardless of how trivial it may seem.
The Final Word
Betfair made its name as an operator that turned the sports betting industry on its head. It did that by offering something punters had been craving for year – peer-to-peer exchange betting. Unfortunately there’s nothing so innovative or potentially ground-breaking with Betfair Casino. Still the choice of welcome bonuses to suit different budgets is a promising indication that this is a brand that hasn’t forsaken its player-friendly credentials.
What you get with Betfair is a very solid, reliable website with a good range of games and the weight of Paddy Power Betfair behind it. This is not a casino you’ll regret joining, as evidenced by that prestigious EGR award in 2016.