From a chance meeting in 1999, to the largest ever .com IPO, Betfair has helped to revolutionise the betting industry and built a sustainable business.
In 1999, professional gambler Andrew ‘Bert’ Black and City professional Edward Wray joined forces to form The Sporting Exchange, the Company that went on to launch the Betfair Betting Exchange in 2000.
The first Betfair market was the 2000 Epsom Oaks (won by Love Divine – picture) and although the early stakes were small, several respected media sources correctly predicted the start of a betting revolution. Betfair took off over the next few years; from placing its first advert in October 2000, to inventing the concept of an “in-play” soccer market in 2001, through to a merger with fellow exchange Flutter.com in December 2001. By 2004 Betfair was enjoying revenues of over £50 million and had established itself as the pre-eminent Exchange product in the market. Betfair continued to grow in the UK and Europe throughout the decade, launching several additional gaming products including Poker and Casino, and acquiring the TVG advanced wagering operator in the USA in January 2009.
Betfair floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2010, becoming Europe’s largest .com IPO. Since then the business has continued to develop, launching a traditional fixed odds Sportsbook in 2013 to expand its reach in the recreational market place, alongside a suite of unique products that integrate the Exchange and Sportsbook. Betfair is currently focussed on using its wide range of products to take its unique brand to a mass market audience.