Betfair revenue jumps 30%

Annette Obrestad
Betfair's own Annette Obrestad.

Betting fair has never been so profitable.

Online betting exchange Betfair just announced its annual revenues went up 30% to £182 million this year. New products and technology were listed as reasons for Betfair's significant gains this year.

More and more users seem to be flocking to the gambling Web site. As of Oct. 1, 2007 Betfair said it had over one million registered customers, 443,300 of whom are active users.

The re-launch of Betfair Poker, the introduction of an online casino, the 2006 FIFA World Cup and improved marketing were all listed as factors that helped bring more users to the Web site.

It's not all good news for Betfair, however. Profits are technically down from £36.5 million to £25.3 million. This is due to an investment of £22 million in research and development.

Since Betfair launched in June 2000, it has become the largest betting company in the U.K. and the largest betting exchange in the world.

Betfair pioneered the concept of a bet exchange, which allows a gambler to bet at odds set and requested by other gamblers rather than by a bookmaker. This structure in essence eliminates the traditional bookmaker.

Although this business model raised the ire of other gambling companies like Ladbrokes and Gala Coral Group, Betfair has gone on to win numerous business awards including the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise, the highest official honor a U.K. company can merit.

Because Betfair has never accepted customers from the United States, the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act did not affect the company in any significant way.

It's been a watershed year for the online gambling giant. Betfair hosted arguably the biggest tournament series held outside of Las Vegas, The World Series of Poker - Europe, and did its best to remain in the headlines by signing big-name poker players. Betfair signed online phenom and WSOPE Main Event winner Annette Obrestad to a deal, so for at least the next year Annette15 will be flying the Betfair flag.

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