Founded in the year 2000, Betfair has become the world’s biggest betting exchange. In the early days people were a bit wary of it having only had bookmakers to back with for decades, but they soon got the hang of the idea, and with the option to lay horses it quickly became a big hit. Professional gamblers quickly discovered its potential as it offered better odds than the bookmakers even with a 5% commission rate.
Betfair now exists in a number of countries, some of them, like Australia, after a long legal battle, and the spread of this betting exchange continues to this day with the likely hood of a license being granted in California in 2013. Some countries, like the USA currently ban Betfair outright, but most others allow access.
At the end of 2006 Betfair purchased Timeform, a well known ratings service, and now offers most of this information freely via its betting site. Not long after that they launched a radio service.
2009 Became a moment in history for the exchange when the New York Racing Association granted them a license to bet on all the areas race meetings, although Betfair allow bets on all US racing, the agreement with the NYRA means both parties benefit. In 2012 a similar agreement was made the Hollywood Park Racetrack in California. These agreements only allow Betfair to bet on these tracks, not to allow US punters in those areas to bet online.
Floated on the Stock Exchange on 22 October 2010 at a share price of £13, the company was valued at £1.4 billion! Not bad for a company that turned over just under £400 million in 2011, with around £23 million profits. Year on year profits are increasing especially as they are now based in Gibraltar, although they still work from the London office!
Betfair no runs an online casino, an arcade, it covers the majority of sports found around the planet, runs poker rooms, including live poker, has Betfair TV, a forum, blog, as well as running the Tradefair site for financial trading.
These days all the bookmakers use the exchanges, you won’t see a professional gambler without an account, and traders on the betting exchange account for a lot of the turnover, even though the top end can get charged 60% of profits, but then without the exchange the trader’s profits would be 0%.