Online Casino BTDino

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Internet casino online

Tracy Meston, 39, who discovered internet gambling two years ago, exemplifies the new online punter. The horseracing fan spends hours every week poring over odds online at Betfair, the internet betting exchange which is also in line for a possible flotation.

Betfair operates person-to-person, much the same as eBay, the internet auction website. Punters bet against one another, rather than the bookmaker, and Betfair takes a small commission on each transaction.

Research by Paddy Power, the bookmaker, has found that a third of its online poker players gambled only on traditional fixed-odds events before the advent of the internet.

Mrs Meston, who runs her own clay pigeon shooting business, Frock Stock and Barrel, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, likes the flexibility of online gaming. “When I discovered Betfair I closed my telephone account. I have about 15 horses that I follow,” she says.

It is not only new gaming businesses that are exploiting the UK’s eagerness to play online. Established bookmakers such as William Hill and Ladbrokes have also reaped large profits from moving into the online market.

Mrs Meston, who holds William Hill shares, has seen the price of her investment rise from 247p in May 2003 to 528.5p this month. “This market is fairly recession-proof,” she says. “There are always going to be people who bet. There is a wealth of gambling companies out there and some are gems which will go great guns.”