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Betfair Reports Financial Results

British bookie Betfair reported financial results for the first quarter today. Revenues rose 13% to £91.6 million ($146.7 million) following the Euro 2012 football championship, the London Olympics and stellar growth in mobile betting.

Departing chief financial officer Stephen Morana thanked “a great summer of sport” for the strong start to the financial year. The Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Andy Murray, for example, was Betfair’s biggest market with bets totaling £58 million.

London 2012 was the operator’s best Olympics games with 19,000 individual customers placing bets on the men’s 100m final. “We had our best-ever Olympics with over twice as many customers betting on the Games as they did in Beijing,” Morana told reporters on a conference call.

Revenues from the UK and Ireland rose 23% from the first quarter last year. Poker and other games, however, were down 7% and 4%, respectively, due to negative regulatory news from Cyprus, Italy and Spain. On September 10, Betfair issued a new complaint against Cyprus arguing that the country’s regulatory framework remains in breach of EU law.

The London-based bookmaker also expressed disappointment towards the German regulatory regime. The country’s 16 Länder are returning to a State Treaty. The proposed 5% federal turnover tax would make “our current exchange model unviable, restricting the product choice of our 40,000 German customers,” according to the company.

Nick Batram, an equity analyst at Peel Hunt, told investors: “Betfair faces a number of challenges (not least regulation in international markets) but the core business remains attractive and the potential form product and technology improvements is significant and should begin to flow through from this year onwards.”

Shares in Betfair, the world’s largest betting exchange, declined more than 2% despite the solid first quarter results.

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