Looking to capitalize on two of the leading growth areas of online wagering, Cantor Sport officially launched a spread betting exchange over the weekend.
Spreadfair.com, believed to be the first site of it kind, was available to a limited number of customers during the recently concluded Euro 2004 football championships. It was such a success that Cantor decided to fully integrate it into its product line once the tournament concluded.
"Cantor Spreadfair will revolutionize the spread betting industry in the same way that fixed-odds exchanges have revolutionized traditional-odds betting."
- Lewis Findlay
The site, which combines the elements of spread betting with a P2P exchange, could become a force in the online betting world if early indications hold true.
Cantor executives said the new site already transacts more online trades than Cantor´s existing sport spread betting business, Cantor Sport, which celebrated its third anniversary this weekend.
In an interesting twist for exchange sites, the service does not take action on horse racing, probably the most popular sport among exchange bettors.
Cantor Managing Director Lewis Findlay said the company won't offer race betting until exchanges are above refute with racing. For now, he said, its customers will stay busy betting on cricket, Premiership football, auto racing and golf.
"The terms 'horse racing' and 'exchanges' don't meet positively in the media these days," Findlay explained "Indeed, the biggest exchange seems to be getting more publicity from the debate about integrity than from any positive aspects they may or may not bring for the punter."
He added, "If we'd launched with horseracing on the site, we'd simply have given people license to ask what can of worms it was going to open up and whether it would affect issues of funding the industry."
Findlay said punters clearly enjoy the ability to set their own odds using exchanges. Spread betting, which enables punters to win or lose more depending on the outcome of the event, has also seen a surge in popularity over the last couple of years, The combination of the two, he said, makes Spreadfair the perfect site for today's punter.
"Cantor Spreadfair will revolutionize the spread betting industry in the same way that fixed-odds exchanges have revolutionized traditional-odds betting," Findlay said. "We are proud to be offering an innovation in betting that will capture the imagination of both the spread betting and betting exchange communities. We expect Cantor Spreadfair to have the tightest spreads in the entire industry by a distance, something that can't help but appeal to the discerning spread bettor."
Spreadfair was developed with the intention of offering spread bettors the same value fixed-odds bettors enjoy using exchanges. Cantor Spreadfair takes a commission of 5 percent or less-- depending on the level of betting activity--on each bet.
As for racing, if and when it's brought into the mix remains to be seen, but certainly the company is familiar with the industry. Much of the turnover for Cantor Odds, an Internet-only fixed-odds site, comes from horseracing. The group also sponsors two major British races and will use those sponsorships this year to promote the new Spreadfair site.
"We look forward to the time when the advantages of betting exchanges are clarified and more widely acknowledged in terms of revenue and growth potential for the racing industry as a whole, making it a logical time to introduce horse racing on Cantor Spreadfair," Findlay said.
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