Gamblers on the move boosting Betfair

Online gambling firm Betfair yesterday said its investment in betting-on-the-move was paying off as it revealed the number of wagers placed on devices such as iPhones and iPads had doubled.

Some 7.4 million bets were placed with Betfair on mobile devices in the three months to July 31, twice the number in the same period last year, while a third of all wagers with the company are now placed on a mobile product.

The group, which allows punters to set their own odds and bet against one another, said it upgraded its mobile services in the quarter, including improved live score updates and faster response times.

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Betfair, which floated on the London Stock Exchange last October, saw total revenues drop seven per cent to £80.8m in the period, but this was compared to a strong quarter last year boosted by the World Cup. The improvements made to mobile services, which have also included a new iPad app, led to an increase in the amount of time spent on mobile betting and 78 per cent growth in mobile revenues to £4.2m.

The company, which has nearly four million registered users, offers mobile products in 17 different languages and a presence in 13 different Apple iTunes stores globally.

Its recent stock market listing represented a major landmark for the founders Andrew Black, a one-time professional gambler, and former City trader Edward Wray.

The company’s shares floated at 1300p in October and peaked at 1500p before they more than halved to stand at around 696p today.

While total revenues were down year-on-year, Betfair said they were ahead 19 per cent over a two year period.

The group said it enjoyed its best ever Royal Ascot, Wimbledon and Open golf championships.

In August the company’s revenues were 12 per cent higher than last year as the new football season started.

The company is rolling out a share buyback programme, and has repurchased £11m worth of shares to date.