Accounts Closed At Betfair

It is common to hear of accounts being closed at Betfair. Usually the reason is that premium charge traders are spreading their trades over multiple accounts so as to avoid the higher commission charge. Of course, such a practice is against Betfair's regulations and users with multiple accounts will be closed down.

Since Betfair started charging £299 for access to live data via its API I have seen a growing number of people who have had their account closed for no reason whatsoever. At least, that is what it appears to be. Some people contact me and they have categorically said that they were not multiple account users. They also said that they were not selling unofficial software to other users so that multiple instances of the software were accessing Betfair, which requires a Betfair commercial licence.

Why should Betfair close accounts for not apparent reason? And if they are will I be next? One reason for Betfair being so strict is that too many users are testing bots using the live AppKey and not using the delayed AppKey. Supposedly, that is the reason for the £299 charge for the live AppKey as a barrier to casual users taking up live bandwidth. But how you prove the difference between testing and trading is not obvious. I often run a bot for a day and perform no trades. I am merely gathering data. Is that counted as testing? Maybe some users are firing in thousands of sub £2 bets, which could be construed as testing. Especially if it is to hoover up stray pennies risk free using the round-up flaw, which Betfair does frown upon.

I should point out to users of Betfair's API-NG that the best way to test the betting side of a bot is to find a closed spread (i.e. a zero tick gap between the back and the lay) and to fire in a £2 back followed by a £2 lay (both "at the money") so that both sides of the trade are instantly matched. The loss will be minimal (just a few pennies, especially if you choose a sub 2.0 spread) and the £2 trades will keep Betfair happy.

I don't know what the future holds for Betfair users, especially users of the API. Betfair now concentrates on its bookmaking operation and with the Paddy Power link-up this can only increase. Maybe low volume API users will be frozen out and the exchange will only be for commercial use by third-party software vendors, premium charge users and independent bookmakers laying off liabilities. Who knows?

11 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Well, congratulations on getting unlocked. I think there is an algorithm closing accounts automatically because of the number of users not using the delayed AppKey. Hence the £299 charge and the account closures.

      Once you get hold of a human like Neil on Betfair then common sense prevails.

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  2. I have written a message on http://forum.bdp.betfair.com explaining the resons of my account lock. In short, I maximally used live key and ignored delayed key and inclined to test on live data ignoring unit testing, historical data testing. I have to change my way of testing, I will certainly will be more careful of how my actions are looked from the other side

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  3. If only premium charges players are allowed on exchange, then most of them will cease to be premium players. Amateurs look for short profit and winning every market, while prŠµmiums look for distance. Both amateurs and premiums are required for saving liquidity. Who will match 1.0X lays if no amateurs wanting win every market?

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  4. Think I mentioned a while back that they wont like you just using the liveapp key as obviously not performed any testing..thought they might wtite to you first.

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  5. I am now making sure that I use the dev/delayed key. Not sure what happens when you try to test out bet execution in dev. Has anyone done this? Do you place a live bet on delayed data or would they only be dummy trades? Cheers.

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    1. Orders entered onto the book with the delayed key are live and not delayed but the price spread is delayed and might have moved.

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  6. I wonder why there is so much misinformation in your article.

    1) Personal appkey can be used only with betfair account to which such appkey was assigned. So if you say that people try to sell apps with personal app key, then I understand betfair steps to close such accounts, but that also means that betfair did something wrong, as you can allow access to betfair api to other betfair users only with vendors appkey.

    2) Betfair closes accounts only when you do what you cannot do according to their T&C.

    3) I test myself without placing bets, and have no problems to use betfair api. Just play fair and you will have no problems with betfair.

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    1. 1) I am quoting a Betfair employee justifying the £299 fee for the live AppKey. Betfair believes that people are profitting from the selling of software using personal AppKeys. You can still sell software to people and ask the user to create their own AppKey. Betfair wants to have ultimate quality control over third-party being created for commerical reasons.

      2) Correct.

      3) Agreed.

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    2. If you have no problems now, it does not mean you have no problems in future. I had no problems for 10 years and got a huge number in a single day

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