Company of the Year Award

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Betfair, the world’s leading betting exchange, was last night crowned the KPMG Company of the Year at the annual CBI/Real Business Growing Business Awards in London. The Awards ceremony was attended by Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, who addressed an audience of more than 600 of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs. He was joined in his praise of the Award winners by Digby Jones, Director-General of the CBI, who said, “Innovative companies are the backbone of the British industry. This award champions their success and I’m sure will help pave the way for even greater achievements.”

Andrew Black, founder of Betfair, added, “We are absolutely delighted to have received this prestigious Award. It is a great honour to be recognized in this way, particularly in front of some of Britain’s leading businessmen. It is a fantastic endorsement of both our product and our business.”

Organised annually as a partnership between Real Business magazine and the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) the Growing Business Awards are now in their sixth year. The Award for the KPMG Company of the Year was decided by a panel of expert judges chaired by Digby Jones.

Betfair has single-handedly revolutionised the global betting industry. Launched just over four years ago, it is already one of the UK’s most successful internet-based businesses, and has visions of becoming the world’s leading betting organisation.

The privately owned company pioneered the concept of ‘exchange betting’ – a new form of bookmaking that uses internet technology to enable punters to bet at odds set by other punters, rather than the bookmaker itself. Betfair employs around 450 people in its Hammersmith headquarters, matches millions of bets every day (up-to 12,000 every minute), and has over 300,000 registered customers.

Before last night’s Awards, the company had already been widely acclaimed for its success, winning the Ernst and Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2002 and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2003.

Betfair’s contribution to British innovation was further recognised last week when it won two awards, the Most Innovative Betting and Gaming Concept and the overall Most Innovative Leisure Concept, at the Leopards: Leisure Operator Awards.