Friday, 7 February 2014

Testing Complete - Going Live This Weekend

Back on January 20th, the Australian Financial Review reported that Sporting Data, a company comprised of three former Betfair employees, had plans to move into football:
This was the first time a Sporting Data employee had been charged with a criminal offence, despite the company sending staff to all four of the grand slams and other tournaments. Mr High said tennis most suited the company’s mathematical models, but they had begun testing football and cricket as well.
So the news on Peter Webb's blog that Betfair:
are looking to reduce the delay to 5 seconds in [football / soccer] matches this weekend. They also plan to reduce the half time bet placement delay to one second.
really shouldn't come as a surprise. Do Betfair forget why the increase was made from 5 seconds in the first place? If I remeber rightly, it was in response to several complaints about being picked off. The Gambling Commission might finally take a little more interest at this about this volte-face, as we say in Paris - as Fizzer commented:
The bottom line is that Betfair are failing to meet their own stated objective, summarised in their 'help and learning' section, to PROTECT their customers and enable them to cancel bets when there is a change in market conditions. That's the issue - by putting in a delay Betfair are giving the impression that they have a mechanism in place to prevent you losing money to players who have an advantage over you by having earlier access to information.
As Betfair themselves put it:
With in-play markets, Betfair introduce a delay of up to 9 seconds depending upon the specific sports.

Bet placement on in-play markets carries a time delay to allow customers to cancel unmatched orders on the system when there is a change in market conditions. This delay protects both backers and layers and leads to greater liquidity.
That's pretty much been my argument from the start. If anything, Betfair should be increasing the in-play delay on sports, as necessary, to ensure that the same (relatively) few accounts do not consistently profit from sending "analysts" court-side.

Betfair themselves say that failing to protect the 'slower' data-feed traders harms liquidity, so why are they not only allowing this to continue, but opening up even more opportunities. That they are planning to decrease the delay, especially at this rather sensitive time, rather than address the current concerns, says much about today's Betfair.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Cassini,
How does the delay protect me if I cannot cancel my bet while I wait these 9 seconds? Or is there a way to do it?