Betfair celebrates five years
By emily
In line with the Tate Modern and Big Brother, Betfair celebrates its fifth birthday in 2005, with the anniversary of the launch of the world’s biggest betting exchange falling this coming weekend.

The Oaks was the first race Betfair covered, and therefore tomorrow’s race is of particular significance to the company. Betfair’s growth has been dramatic since June 2000 when only £3,462 was taken on the Oaks and the Derby combined. Since then the company has gone on to change the way many people bet and become one of the most prominent bookmakers in the UK and internationally.

The company now employs over 500 people in offices in Hammersmith and Stevenage. It has over 350,000 registered customers worldwide and matches over 2,000,000 transactions a day.

It has been an exciting five years for Betfair, and the last year alone has seen some important developments. Betfair Poker was launched in May 2004 and is now among the top five poker rooms in Europe. A new-look site was launched in September 2004 to improve the scalability, performance and resilience of the site in line with Betfair’s continued growth. Also, earlier this year the UK Government passed the Gambling Bill which saw betting exchanges, a concept pioneered by Betfair, accepted within the regulatory framework.

Mark Davies, Betfair’s Director of Communications and a member of the founder management team, said, “It has been a fantastic five years for us, our customers, and our partners in racing and elsewhere. We’ve achieved our aim of giving the punter a fairer deal, and we’re delighted to be part of the establishment now. We now look forward to taking the company forward, particularly internationally where we feel there is enormous potential for expansion.”

As part of its fifth birthday celebrations Betfair will be offering its Oaks market commission-free to punters. A donation will also be made to Racing Welfare, Betfair’s Charity of the Year, equivalent to the commission that would have been earned.

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