Dmitry Khlestkin



Betfair was the first betting exchange in the history of gambling. It was founded in 1999 by the professional players, Andrew Black and Edward Wray. The newly formed company was initially named The Sporting Exchange Limited. A year later in 2000, the company had been formalized and it was ready to start as a new entry into the field of gambling.

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The first event where punters had the opportunity to place bets in 2000, was one of the most famous horseraces in the United Kingdom, The Oaks at Epsom. Even despite the amount of bets placed was relatively small, some experts in the media had seen the company’s potential and were predicating a revolution in the betting industry.

In 2001, Betfair became the first company to introduce live betting, where punters were given the opportunity to place bets, while an event was in progress.

By 2004, Betfair was already managing to pull in a yearly profit of £50 million per year. The company continued to grow and in the same year, the firm introduced platforms for playing online games, such as poker.

More people started to take note of the betting exchange when they agreed a deal to sponsor the Premier League side Fulham, while the world’s most famous horserace, the Grand National also helped to increase the popularity of the company.

In 2005, Betfair continued to expand and received licenses to operate in Austria and Malta.

2006 saw the firm develop mobile projects, with the creation of its own app, which was used to offer gamblers the chance to play online casino’s whilst on the move.

In 2010, the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange, with the total worth of the company being £1.4 billion.

In 2011, the betting exchange transferred all its operations to Gibraltar in order to take advantage of the British territory’s lower tax rates.

In 2013, the Betfair online bookmaker was launched.

In 2014, the firm acquired licenses to operate in Bulgaria, as well as opening a betting exchange in Italy. Betfair also has betting exchange licenses in Germany and Australia.

Specifications and features

The Betfair betting exchange has the highest liquidity and the highest commission rates among exchanges, which is from 5-7% of the net gain, while for a very small percentage of professional gamblers, there is a premium commission, which they have to pay. As with any betting exchange, there is no limit on what a maximum bet could be, but this is especially the case with Betfair because of its massive liquidity.

Aside to being a betting exchange, Betfair also offers services as an online bookmaker. On the website, the are all the usual games, such as online casino’s, live casino’s poker, arcade games and bingo.

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