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Betfair Makes Brazen Move into United States


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Regarding online gambling, the U.S. can be likened to a pit-bull chained up
in front of a McDonalds. While tempting to go inside for a Big Mac, chances are
the pit-bull will tear you apart. This is how most online gambling firms feel
about U.S. authorities who have already ‘bitten’ many offshore operations.

As a result, most large online gambling operations have a developed a ‘wait and
see’ policy’ when it comes to the U.S. which, under the new Obama
administration, could be closer than ever before to legalizing and regulating
online gambling. However, leading UK online betting exchange Betfair is
not waiting around.

According to reports, executives at Betfair have taken the decision to actively
become more involved in the U.S. gambling industry, which is currently being
fiercely protected by the U.S. Department of Justice, the wing of government
that has gone after and ‘caught’ many online gambling firms and their key
executives.

Clearly not scared away by large G-men in black suits sporting sunglasses and
Hollywood-style earpieces, Betfair has increased its interests in the U.S.
horseracing industry which, despite a downswing due to the current economy, is a
multi-billion dollar a year industry, and one traditionally protected by U.S.
lawmakers.

But what differentiates Betfair from its rivals is that instead of being a
regular online sports betting site that processes wagers and bets, Betfair is
instead an online betting exchange where players bet against each other as
opposed to against the house. And perhaps this is why Betfair has managed to
slip past the pit-bull.

The way Betfair’s system works is that two or more players on the opposite ends
of a bet are automatically paired up, and they decide on the respective wager.
Betfair makes it money by taking a small percentage of each wager and, unlike in
regular online betting sites, the winner pays the percentage, not the loser.

Said director of US Operations for Betfair, Gerard Cunningham, ‘When other forms
of gambling become legal in the United States, we’ll be ready. It is our
intention to encourage the Facebook generation to come along to the track.’ The
UK online gambling has reportedly already opened up an office in San Francisco.

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