Betfair's Next Frontier: Poker

16 January 2004

Betfair, the world's largest betting exchange, revealed yesterday that it plans to launch an Internet poker site using technology from CryptoLogic.

" Online poker is a natural complement to Betfair's sports betting business."
- said Steve Ives

The online poker room, slated to launch sometime in the second quarter of 2004, will use the latest player-to-player poker technology from CryptoLogic's subsidiary WagerLogic. The financial details of the licensing agreement have not been disclosed.

Betfair has been one of the most prominent betting sites since its launch in June 2000 and will introduce a massive number of bettors to its new poker service. takes in over £50 million per week, matches about 12,000 bets per minute, has a user base spanning more than 80 countries and offers services in English, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, German, Greek and Italian.

The popularity of online poker has grown six-fold in the last year, and experts estimate that it now comprises 10 percent of the $5 billion global online gaming market. Betfair sees its expansion into poker as a natural progression into the I-gaming scene and is confident that CryptoLogic is an apt partner.

"Online poker is a natural complement to Betfair's sports betting business," said Steve Ives, Betfair's business development director. "We are delighted to be working with a company of CryptoLogic's caliber and experience. In CryptoLogic, we identified a partner with top-class technology and one who shares our aspirations to create the best integrated poker platform on the Internet.

CryptoLogic's president and CEO, Lewis Rose, said the partnership will benefit his company as well. "Betfair is an outstanding opportunity to increase CryptoLogic's leadership in the fast-growing online poker market," Rose said. "Betfair is in perfect step with CryptoLogic's strategy of doing business with the best in gaming. Together, we have a winning formula: Betfair's world-leading brand in betting exchanges, strong player base, and global marketing might - matched with our sophisticated poker solution. Betfair offers exciting promise as its online poker site is launched this year, and starts to build momentum."