Located in Hammersmith, London, Betfair Group plc is the largest online betting exchange in the world. It was established by a City trader and professional gambler, who wanted to bring something bold, innovative and exciting to the sports betting industry. They succeeded when they launched the Betfair Exchange, which lets people place bets against one another, rather than against the bookmaker. The Betfair Exchange was unlike anything the industry had seen before and it caused the company’s popularity to soar.
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On 2 February 2016 Betfair merged with Paddy Power to form Paddy Power Betfair, a decision that was formally made on 15 September 2015. This merger resulted in the loss of around 650 jobs in the UK and Ireland. The new company is owned by shareholders from both of the former companies, with Betfair shareholders collectively owning 48% and the remaining 52% owned by Paddy Power shareholders. As well as the online betting exchange, Paddy Power Betfair owns and operates around 600 betting shops located throughout the UK and Ireland. Betfair operates as one of the four Paddy Power Betfair brands, the others being Paddy Power, Sportsbet (Australia’s largest sports betting site) and TVG (the largest horse racing betting network in the US).
As well as offering a sportsbook and the Betting Exchange, Betfair has a wide variety of games for players to enjoy, such as casino games, live casino games, slots, bingo, virtual sports, poker and arcade games. There are plenty of choices in each of the categories, so there’s something for players of all tastes and skill levels. Some of the many different casino games available include craps, baccarat, roulette, blackjack, video poker, video slots, progressive jackpots, scratch cards and keno; there’s also a mobile casino where you can access a selection of the desktop casino’s most popular games. The Betfair casino has a selection of free games that can be played with virtual chips, giving players the chance to learn how the games work before they start playing with real money.
The sportsbook offers a huge variety of sporting events for players to place bets on. You can even place bets on certain sporting events as they take place thanks to in-play betting. There are a total of 23 different sporting events that you can bet on, from horse racing, rugby union and football, to basketball, darts and cycling; there are also three non-sporting events that you can bet on and these are chess, politics and special bets (mainly bets on TV shows).
Paddy Power Betfair is based in Dublin, with a second office located in London. Betfair’s UK operations are covered by its gambling licence from the UK Gambling Commission. Before the merger with Paddy Power, Betfair was so successful that it was bringing in around £400 million in revenue a year and had 4 million registered customers, of whom just over a million were active customers and made bets fairly regularly. There are over a dozen regular promotions aimed at encouraging new players to try out the casino games and bet on sporting events.