Caveat Emptor

I have recently discovered that Betfair now charges anyone attempting to create a live AppKey for the first time as of 10th May 2016. Anyone creating the live and delayed AppKey from now on will see a disabled live key for which there is a £299 charge to enable it. If you do not pay the fee then your data will be delayed for upto 60 seconds but betting operations are live. At least you only have to pay the fee once unlike third-party software where the recurring monthly fee will eventually be greater than £299.

Supposedly the fee is to to stop unlicensed commercial use. However, the AppKey you are buying is used to indentify users so rogue users can simply have their access blocked when they try to login with their AppKey.

To summarise...

a) As of 10th May 2016 you will have to pay a £299 fee to access live data through API-NG.

b) Betting operations can be accessed live with a delayed key.

c) Althought the lastpricematched returned by the delayed key might be upto 60 seconds old it will have a timestamp.

For those of us who had created AppKeys before the introduction of the fee or who have paid the activation fee we have have access to two keys; a live one and a delayed one. The live AppKey allows us to use API-NG as normal. The delayed AppKey is for testing purposes; you can place bets in realtime but the data you are receiving can be up to 60 seconds old. New accounts will only get access to the delayed AppKey and will have to pay for the live AppKey.

Here is the official reason for the charge

We have recently introduced an application process for new customers who'd like to use the Betfair API for betting. This is to prevent unlicensed commercial use of the API.

The application process does not affect active customers who are currently using the API (personal customers or Vendors), nor will there be any retrospective charge applied to active customers.

New customers who create a new Application Key are able to use the API with a Delayed Key (which by default now allows betting operations for new API customers) but need to apply and be approved for Live App Key API access before paying the £299 one off fee.

The Delayed App Key has always been intended for use by customers for development purpose and functional testing.

12 comments:

  1. Hello James. Is there any difference between using Delayed Key and Live Key for the purpose of collecting data for analysis?

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    1. That's the only thing that is different.

      You can place bets in realtime with the delayed key but any data you get is from 1 to 60 seconds out of date.

      Supposedly the delayed key is for developers to test their programs without putting strain on the servers.

      If you opened your Betfair account prior to 2016 (or maybe early 2016) then you should have access to teh live key. Betfair cannot retrospectively charge for live key access.

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  2. Thank you for answer. Unfortunately, my account is brand new.

    I'm afraid I wasn't precise enough with my question. What I mean is that with Delayed Key I can collect data for several months, make some trading rules based on that data (offline analysis - as it's described in your book), and when I find some profitable rules, then (and ONLY then) I should consider buying Live Key.

    Opportunity of placing bets in real time with Delayed Key may be of use for measuring slippage without paying for Live Key. Actual trading bot feeded with delayed data would be insane, I am fully aware of that :)

    Back to my question: is delayed data exatcly as good as live data for offline analysis, or am I missing something? For example: considering delay can vary, the only information lost is real timeframe in which price changed (as long as there is no server-side timestamp in json responses). Is this information usefull somehow while performing offline analysis?

    Sorry for my grammar :)

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    1. Yes, you can collect data with the delayed key but you won't be getting it at the same time as me. It will arrive 1-60 seconds later.

      You will be able to look at the lastpricematched and see the time at which it was matched. However, the bid/ask spread will not have a time stamp.

      Some of my trading rules use lastpricematched so you would be able to do the same as myself with that data.

      Other rules I use are volume based but those will be delayed for you by upto 60 seconds. I guess you can still make a good estimation of money flow despite the delay.

      Other than the delay, the data is exactly the same as the data that I get.

      Yes, it would be a good idea to experiment with the delayed data for a few months and then decide if you want to buy the live key.

      The price of the livekey is a one off and equal to two years subscription of BetAngel so if you are still around after two years then you have made a saving.

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  3. Hi James, thanks for that, very helpful. I have a quick question though - where did you find the info that "...If your Betfair account was set up prior to spring of 2016 then you have nothing to worry about..."

    I ask only because I have had a Betfair account for many years, but have only ever used the regular web page to place the occasional bet. I have just tried to create AppKeys and got 2 as expected, however only the delayed key is marked "Active=Yes", the live key is marked "Active=No". Using both keys confirms my suspicions, the delayed one works for all operations, the live one returns INVALID_APP_KEY for all operations.

    It appears therefore that before Spring 2016 we had to both (a) create a Betfair account _and_ (b) create (delayed and live) AppKeys. I could be wrong( frequently am!), do you know if is it possible to activate the live key if my Betfair account was created long before the fee was introduced ?

    Thanks again for any/all help :)
    A.

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    1. I have asked for verification.

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    2. Betfair have just informed me that as of 10th May 2016 anyone trying to createKeys on the Accounts server will have a disabled live key, which can only be disabled by paying the £299 fee.

      I am very sorry. Hopefully Betfair will come to its senses but you know what corporations are like.

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    3. Thanks for the update, much appreciated. Would have been nice if Betfair had informed existing account holders about the fee on or before 9th May 2016...

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  4. Hi James
    I think I recall you saying you were working on a second Programming for Betfair book, going more into various strategies. Was I correct on that, and if so, how has Betfair's latest dumb move affected your plans for a second book ?

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    1. Hello Geoff,

      I am halfway through my second book. Luckily for us all it is not Betfair specific. The book will contain, web scraping, system building, manual and machine learning optimisation and money management.

      I hope to have the book out by the end of summer.

      I might still do an advanced API-NG book with charting (moving averages, candlesticks, volume etc.) for we lucky few. All my books are print on demand so I only have to weigh time against reward.

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  5. Hello James,

    I applied for live application key 2 day ago. but betfair doesn't give any answer. can guide me what time should take betfair for process. i already deposit money account. i try contact with betfair but no reply from them.

    pl. help me

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    1. Because I was a beta tester for API-NG I have a free live AppKey. However, I don't work for Betfair and don't know how their paid-for AppKeys are implemented.

      I suggest you raise a support ticket at

      https://developer.betfair.com/support/

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