How many traders today lost money due to the technical problems experienced by Betfair? They failed to suspend the markets for 4 of this afternoons races at the off (Curragh 3pm, 4pm, 5:30pm and the Nottingham 5:40). Their policy is to then void any bets matched after the official off-time IF the race is never placed in-play at any time. The official blurb is:
"If a market is scheduled to be turned in-play but Betfair does not suspend the market at the time of the ‘off’ and the market is not turned in-play at any time during the event, all bets matched after the scheduled time of the ‘off’ will be void (in the case of horseracing and greyhound racing, bets will be void from the official rather than the scheduled ‘off’ time)."
This is very scary for me as a trader who likes to trade right up until the off (I just love the volatility in the last few seconds!) as potentially they could void one half of my trade and leave my whole balance exposed to the result of the race. If you have a trade matched very close to the off it wouldn't be possible to determine if it had happened before or after the official off-time as even if you are watching on Sky TV, you need to factor in the delay of the pictures (which also varies across the channels).
Out of the four races concerned, I traded the 3pm and the 5:40pm. My green-up trade was cancelled on both races. Fortunately the favourite obliged in the 3pm and I made far more than the greened-up profit I then lost on the 5:40pm. But I was really sweating it on the 5:40pm as I had closed my trade with a lay bet very close to the off and I didn't know whether it would count, fortunately it did.
I guess this is further incentive for anyone having trouble letting their trades go in-play to close well before the off!
I wonder if this is a new policy with Betfair because I've seen the market suspended late on many many occasions in the past without them taking any action. I've also previously been able to back at 1.01 several seconds after the winner had passed the post when they didn't suspend on time.
Looking at the "Market" section of the forum, I see that they also had this problem on the 4:10 at Ascot yesterday. Before that the only other instance was on the 29th June and they have posts dating back to September 2007 (unless they delete some after a while? I'm not sure). So this feels like a change in policy to me. Watch out!
Let me know if you gained or lost from this today.