he newly floated betting exchange will operate under a Gibraltar gaming license following in the footsteps of rivals Ladbrokes and William Hill, both of which have announced millions of pounds in cost savings since their departure from the UK two years ago.
In October the exchange opened a new Dublin office to house its data centre and telebetting operators. This was considered a warning to the UK government to take action over proposed tax increases including the horseracing levy which it today said it would continue to pay for the time being.
The UK government has been reviewing the licensing system but has yet to announce any decision on reforms.
Last year the betting exchange paid US$ 8 million in payments plus another US$ 2 million voluntary payment due to its overseas customers betting on horseracing. At the time Tessa Murray, director of corporate communications at Betfair, told eGaming Review there were “no immediate plans to go offshore.”
In a statement Yu said that in recent months Betfair had transferred the majority of its key systems from the UK to Gibraltar and Dublin employing over 120 people. He said its revised structure would “provide the company with the freedom to locate key technical equipment in more efficient locations in order to improve service to customers and compete on a level basis in the UK market.”
Betfair said its operational costs would rise in the short term due to running both new and existing data centres, but that this would reduce as its systems consolidation programme is finalised at the end of next year. It would then see significant tax savings of as much as US$ 32 million year and US$ 16 million of underlying earnings.
The company said it would continue to be incorporated in the UK and employ 1,200 people at its headquarters in Hammersmith in London and at its other offices in Stevenage and Halifax.