BetdaqCheltenham Festival

Exchange Problems Pre-Cheltenham

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Is This A Joke?


Wasn’t going to post today but after this afternoons shenanigans it seems appropriate. Here’s a recording of a whole 2 minutes worth of lock-ups! You’ll see around half way it starts to respond once more for a second or two… and interestingly, once service resumes there is significantly less volumes of unmatched money sat around the prices in its thousands given the time to the start.

We know what caused this and are aware that this affected a number of customers. The freezes were due an external network interruption at ~1655. The root cause of the network interruption is currently being investigated.

Apologies to you and all of the other customers that were affected by this issue.

Saturday before last the exchange crashed, again. And this Saturday it slowed down and was rather disjointed between 3pm and 4pm, I experienced at least two lockup for a couple of seconds. Having looked at various trading forums at the same times several others popped up to complain about the same thing.

Thankfully I wasn’t caught out or didn’t lose any money as I have done in years gone by although its becoming a rather more serious concern on the lead up to Cheltenham. Typically I treble or quadruple my bankroll over the Cheltenham period purely because of the masses of cash running through the markets, having a smaller balance can prove troublesome when you can only place a few bets at higher prices because of the time it takes to eventually reach the bottom of the cue and get filled.

In the lead up to Cheltenham it’s becoming a growing concern for me as the only ever answer you’ll get is refer to the terms and conditions where, you are liable for all bets regardless of exchange failure. Admittedly each time this happens (which seems rather regularly lately) Betfair are quick to apologise but, if it happens over the festival (which seems far more likely with the increased load on the exchange) a simple sorry means nothing if you just lost £10,000 or more. I’m currently toying with the idea of using Betdaq totally or a mixture of the two. However cash-flow doesn’t really allow to load up both accounts with the same amount of money….

Also should the exchange crash during a big Cheltenham race while exposed to a liability of £10,000 say – What do you do? do you then back for the difference on Betdaq to secure your position? This week someone asked me a question on Twitter which led to this same question and @BetfairHelpdesk suggested

We advise that you have a back up plan in place should an event like this occur. I.e having a second betting exchange account just in case this does occur or having an account with another bookies so you can hedge your bets as from time to time all sites will get certain problems and issues.”

That’s all well and good, but this happened in December 2011 and Betfair voided all bets – Here’s an article from the guardian about it So what if you close out on Betdaq and then they void your opening bets?!

Hopefully the festival will come and pass without issue on Betfair although im not particularly confident, since the new API changeover in November last year there has been quite a few issues. Some software related, some exchange related… either way it’s a bit un-nerving to say the least!


What plans and precautions are you taking over Cheltenham this year?


P.S. If you have any exchange problems I’d urge you to keep as much information as possible, screenshots, recording, times etc and mail it over to the tech guys at in order to help them fix the problem

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3 thoughts on “Exchange Problems Pre-Cheltenham

  1. Hi Caan,

    You are spot on about the voiding issue – seems there’s no way to be sure you wouldn’t get absolutely shafted in some cases of a BF crash. It’s a problem for BF too, as they will lose money if people hold back by being scared of this. Reduced liquidity for BF yet again, sadly.

    They would be better off making some sort of reassurance – not sure exactly what that would be though. This partly comes down to the fact that although they encourage trading the model essentially acts as though each trade is a ‘bet’ rather than a trade. They can’t assume that the same player is looking to lay off that ‘bet’.

    1. Sure, it makes things very tricky. I mean surely it would be best to treat each and every incident the same. But they won’t do that – because if they did they would have to pay out the 23M on the link mentioned above. On the other hand they could void all bets every time it happens, which they wont do either as the amount of money they would lose in commission would be crazy… I guess the only option is to improve the system in place so it doesn’t crash… but at the moment they don’t seem to be able to do that either – not much hope seeing they’ve been about well over a decade.

  2. How do you think us Aussies feel – we don’t even have a second exchange! Betfair have had almost no intention of solving this issue quickly so I wouldn’t be surprised if we are still talking about this in the months to come.

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