Dr. Ho Teams Up with Betfair

28 June 2002

The person-to-person betting craze got another resounding endorsement today when the leading online Asian casino added P2P betting to its site.

Asian gaming giant Dr. Stanley Ho and Betfair.com, a leading P2P betting exchange, announced an agreement that will see the Betfair system integrated into a new Dr. Ho site geared toward the Asian betting market.

The site, DrHoBets.com, will be part of the Dr. Ho family of sites--DrHo.com and DrHo888.com--and will be available in traditional Chinese and English.

The new site will tap into Dr. Ho's 250,000 online users and will target Southeast Asia. Officials with Betfair.com said the new site will automatically create the largest and most liquid betting environment in the P2P sector.

Southeast Asia is estimated to be the most solvent gaming market in the world, representatives of Dr. Ho's company said. They said the market is worth $8 billion a year, before the introduction of exchange betting.

DrHoBets.com will bring together DrHo888.com's subscriber base, which is more than 80 percent Asian, and Betfair.com's $10 million worth of technology that has been credited with helping it and its partners command more than 90 percent of the global exchange market.

Betfair was launched in June 2000 and is licensed, regulated and taxed in the United Kingdom. It is expected to take in more than $1.5 billion in 2002.

Exchange betting, in which punters can bet against each other, is taking the U.K. market by storm, and Betfair is leading the charge. Officials with both companies are hoping the new form of betting will take a large share of the multibillion-dollar Asian market.

Betfair's strategic partnership with Dr. Ho takes it into a geographic region that is globally renowned for the innovation and dedication of its punting community. It will come to the region in a partnership with a brand whose reputation for sporting wagers is unparalleled.

Edward Wray, CEO of Betfair.com, said partnering with Dr. Ho was the logical choice when his firm wanted to penetrate the Asian market more effectively.

"We feel we have the right product, strong levels of liquidity and the perfect partner to be extremely successful in this market," he said. "We are extremely excited at the huge potential for this opportunity."

Peter Kjaer, CEO of DrHo.com, said his site had been looking at P2P options for some time and that customer demand drove the final decision.

"Exchange betting is an innovation in gaming which the Southeast Asian market has been crying out for since the concept was launched," he said. "We are delighted to have secured a partnership with the company which developed the idea and has driven it to the current levels. This new venture really gives customers the ultimate choice in gaming, practically enabling them to become their own bookmakers."

Kjaer said the Betfair system will be integrated immediately and customers will be able to bet on the winner of the World Cup championship as well as a host of other things.

"Players can choose who will be the next U.S. president, what the weather will be, or anything else they can possibly think of," he said. "The players set the odds and open the invitation for anyone interested to step up to the table. DrHoBets.com simply acts as a stakeholder so everyone is reassured that the wager is bona fide and that payment is guaranteed."

DrHo888.com is licensed and monitored by the Antigua Gaming Commission.