Betfair punters realise mobile benefits

Betfair has published several findings from its in-house research team aimed at illustrating the type of pervasive mobile usage that drove a 122% increase in bets and a 97% increase in revenue from the channel last year.

The operator has revealed 10% of customers had traded their position on the toilet while 20% had also taken time out from a wedding to fire up their Betfair app, according to selected findings taken from a 14-day study of 100 participants by its Insight Team., released to accompany the company’s annual results for the 12 months to the end of April.

Native mobile apps, developed for particular phone operating systems, accounted for 66% of bets placed, with the remaining 34% being placed via mobile browsers. The iPhone app, with which Betfair was the first betting operator to gain approval by Apple’s app store in May 2010, was by far the most dominant native app for Betfair, accounting for 50% of the revenue generated though this channel, ahead of Blackberry with 14% and Android with just 4%.

Interim CEO Stephen Morana, who will return to his full-time CFO position when Breon Corcoran arrives from Paddy Power on 1 August, said that “substantial investment in the channel has given us a clear product advantage, allowing it to capitalise on the increasing penetration of smartphones and convenience of the channel for customers. The company this year launched a new iPad app developed as a ‘second screen’ for live sport on the TV, and launched a new mobile casino product.

Mobile bets were up 122% to 44 million and revenue up 97% to £22.7m in the last year. In April alone, almost 50% of UK and Ireland active customers were using mobile devices, placing over six million bets via phones and tablets.

Justifying its heavy investment in the channel, for which it employs a dedicated development team of 60 based in the UK, San Francisco and Romania, Betfair said: “Performance across the industry is polarising: companies that invested early in product development are experiencing a strong take up of mobile betting.”

The Insight Team’s findings on Betfair’s mobile offering accompanied the company’s first set of full year results as a listed company, having floated on London’s stock market in October 2010.

Underlying profit from its core businesses (excluding Betfair US, LMAX and Betfair Australia) was up 15% to £92.1m, with revenue up 6% to £349.5m. Bets placed via Betfair’s betting exchange were the main driver to this growth, accounting for 72% of core revenues in the year to the end of April, up 11% year-on-year to £250.1m. While games, including casino, dipped 5% to £56m, reflecting the suspension of the product in Italy, an emphasis on recreational players and improving network ecology in poker has seen like-for-like revenue increase 6% year-on-year, excluding Italian revenues.

Betfair also revealed its roadmap for the next financial year included bingo, the first time the operator has offered this product.

The new financial year had also started strongly, with core revenue up 18% in the first eight weeks, boosted by by the Euro 2012 football tournament.


Casino Choice journalist

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