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BETDAQ started at a similar time to Betfair (both BETDAQ and Betfair were founded in 2000), however it clearly lost the first battle, as Betfair has become a household name and was credited with pioneering the betting exchange industry. However, despite the fact that Betfair has become the dominant betting exchange, BETDAQ have persevered, and their lower commission charges has seen them claw back some of the market from Betfair.

In a nutshell, you would choose BETDAQ for the same reasons as Betfair: both are betting exchanges that offer peer to peer betting on a wide range of sporting events. As on any exchange, BETDAQ sets the events and markets and its customers set the odds they want to back or lay.

When you want to place a bet on BETDAQ, you find the odds you want (which means that other customers are prepared to accept the opposite bet at your desired odds), you click on the odds you want, set the stake and if there is enough liquidity (i.e. enough money to cover your winnings from customers who hold the opposite view to you) your bet will be matched. If there is not enough liquidity, part of your bet can be matched and part can be left unmatched. Unmatched bets keep open until other customers place new opposite bets that could match them. You can cancel your unmatched bets at any time, before they are matched.

The key advantage that BETDAQ has over Betfair is that its commission charges are lower. The key advantage that Betfair has over BETDAQ is market liquidity: the all important thing about a betting exchange is that there is sufficient liquidity in the market.

The cash out feature introduced by Betfair to allow its customers to lock profits or limit losses is not present on BETDAQ’s betting exchange web site. If you want to use this feature you have to rely on third party software or the BETDAQ+ app, which is available for iOS and Android devices.

BETDAQ History

BETDAQ was founded in 2000 by Irish businessman and entrepreneur Dermot Desmond.

BETDAQ never really recovered from its launch in September 2001, over a year after Betfair matched its first bet. BETDAQ pitched itself as the betting site for high-rollers, with markets that were listed in dollars to make them feel more "international". BETDAQ’s initial proposition also gave prospective customers the opportunity to take on the big boys like Dermot Desmond’s associate, J P McManus.

Many potential customers weighed up this opportunity to match their wits and money against that of the impeccably well-informed McManus, and decided it wasn’t for them. Betfair, which already had the advantage of being first to market, increased its lead over BETDAQ, as its rival’s initial direction was wrong. From that point on, the slow starting BETDAQ has never really threatened to close the gap.

BETDAQ was purchased by Ladbrokes plc in February 2013. (This is Betfair’s strategy in reverse: a fixed odds bookmaker adding a betting exchange to its offering as opposed to a betting exchange adding a sportsbook.) BETDAQ like Betfair highlight the importance of the integration of the two products in their annual report:

"Betting via an exchange has become a very popular form of sports betting and is widely used by customers, not only as a substitute for, but also complementary to, their activity with a fixed odds provider, such as Ladbrokes. We expect exchange-led betting to become an increasingly integrated part of our offer over the course of 2014."

(Another, albeit more low-key, example of the relationship between bookmakers and BETDAQ is the software provided by Racecourse Data Technologies (RDT). On-course bookmakers use RDT’s software to hedge liabilities into the BETDAQ betting exchange.)