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Business as usual for Betfair backers hit by charges

25 Sep 2008

LONDON England -- As reported by The Guardian: "Monday marked the start date for Betfair's new 'premium charge', designed to extract extra money from its most consistent and efficient winners. A number of those winners, unhappy at having to pay thousands of pounds a year to a monopoly with £200m in the bank, were said to have chosen Monday as a good day to boycott Betfair in protest.

"If some major players had indeed decided to withdraw their labour for 24 hours, though, it did not show. The general opinion at CWSE, where punters pay £40 a day to play the Betfair market on an ultra-high speed net connection, was that liquidity on the dominant betting exchange was normal for what was a very ordinary afternoon's racing.

"...But while a general strike on Betfair was never likely, many ...customers are still worried about the new charges. Some believe it will cost them thousands of pounds each year.

"...The mathematics of the new charge are complex - seemingly for no apparent reason. The thrust of the premium charge, though, is that from now on, this Sunday and every Sunday, Betfair will examine every account to see if it shows a net profit over the previous 60 weeks, and if so, how much commission has been generated. If commission is less than 20% of net profits, the difference between the two figures will be removed from the account shortly afterwards..."

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