Thursday, 7 June 2007

Betfair API

As I've got a background in software development, I was immediately interested in doing a bit of bot writing. After a look around the Betfair site I was pleasently surprised to discover that the lovely Betfair people had already put an API together.

If you're not an IT geek like me, then this may well be double dutch to you. What it basically means is that instead of having to write some clever code that effectively logs into Betfair via the web and then decodes the web site pages, clicking robotically on buttons and links, there is a ready built set of commands provided that can be used. So, instead of having to mess about working out how to put a bet on by sending a click on this and send that, we can just send a "I want to bet £20 on XYZ, please" message and voila, it's done.

It's a bit sad, but I got quite excited, especially when I found out that there was a developer version (just for guys like me!). Then the bad news. The cost. Usually API (application programming interface) are available for free but here they want £100 a month. Eek! Now, if a bit of software I write is making me £101+ a month consistently, then fine, but right now it's not. Thankfully, they also provide a free version, but it is somewhat hobbled (ever see the film misery, where the crazy woman smashed the writers legs with a big lump hammer? Well think of the equivalent thing being done to some software).

I'm going to have a look and see what I can do with the free version. My initial thought is to do some fancy graphing of price/volume information, i.e. get some bollinger bands, etc going. I'll report back when I have (may take a little while, mind). If there's anyone out there that have already done some Betfair free API work and fancy a chat and to swap some ideas, drop me a note.

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