BetDaq is an exchange betting site based in Ireland. Although in terms of speed and ease of use it is ahead of most of its rivals, a relatively small user base means that BetDaq is not as well-used as it deserves to be, and - as part of a vicious circle - is less useful for many potential bettors to use.
BetDaq Exchange Betting
The problem is this: Exchange betting relies on odds placed not by the bookmaker but by the customer. The bookmaker merely takes a small commission. In practice, this allows for odds of considerably better value than can be achieved via traditional methods. The downside is that the punter is reliant upon someone to either lay odds (inviting a bet on an event at certain odds) or to bet on those.
The key to a site's success is therefore how many people use it. The situation is similar to that with eBay. eBay is the superior online auction site because it has more buyers and more for sale, not because of its superior technology. BetDaq is a more effective website than its main rival, . But it simply has less choice and less value.
For example, just before the Australian Open began you could only bet with BetDaq on Hewitt (7.00) and Philippoussis (6.00). On , you could bet on every major player, including Hewitt (8.00) and Philippoussis (32.00). The problem with BetDaq is not so much the site itself, as the site's user base.
The site itself works well. The purple layout is uncluttered and easy on the eye. A set of tabs at the top of the page link to "my account," "current bets," "deposit now" and "home." All the individual markets can be reached via a scrolling bar down the left-hand side. This bar allows for easy access to the markets, but on some smaller screens it is difficult to read the exact bet. Once you reach the markets, the bulk of the screen shows the bets that are available.
Placing a bet is a simple process. Once you click to lay or back a particular bet, your slip appears on the right of the screen. You simply enter the amount you wish to bet and confirm one screen later. Before you can do this, of course, you need to sign up in the first place.
There are three simple registration screens (personal details, username & password, terms & conditions), that can be completed in about 2 minutes; although annoyingly BetDaq wants to know lots of mother's-maiden-name type information. Surely, if someone is stupid enough to forget their password, they deserve to be punished by a slightly more complex process of getting it back than answering questions to which many other people would know the answer anyway. Also, a confirmation email might be a good idea for BetDaq to implement, so that the customer can keep a record of the details they have entered if they so wish.
Unfortunately, depositing funds seems a much more involved process. It's easy to get to the place where you do this and to enter your details into a pop-up box. However, I was informed five times that my card details were incorrectly entered, even though on each occasion they were correct. I tried a variety of different cards and eventually BetDaq did take my money off me. This seemed out of character with a site which was otherwise so quick and reliable. Fortunately, withdrawing funds worked first time and is a similar process of entering the card details and confirming.
Viewing your details is easy from the "my account" section, which leads to everything you need to know, including personal details, deposit, withdrawal, statements and current bets.
BetDaq Customer Service
Customer service is available via phone and email. Although not available 24 hours, the responses to simple questions were relatively knowledgeable and the phone advisors were not afraid to admit they didn't know the answer and find someone else. Unlike many UK-based sites, BetDaq also offers online help, which is useful, although for more complicated questions it still seemed to be worth phoning up.
The UK Focus
BetDaq's focus is firmly on the UK market. There aren't many languages available and the North American sports are a fairly token effort. UK arbitration is a definite advantage of the site, although the relatively short heritage (since September 2001) could be seen as a disadvantage.
Overall, BetDaq provides a very competent exchange betting service. The problem is that, because the service is relatively underused, it simply doesn't provide a great variety of options.
Upshot: Recommended for Exchange Betting and if you are in the UK.