The company has attracted much comment in the British press. Its co-founders - Andrew Black and Ed Wray - won the Ernst and Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award. More recently the company was recognised by the Department of Trade & Industry when it was given a Queen's Award, the most prestigious business award in the UK.
The exchange allows punters to back and lay at odds set and requested by other punters rather than by a bookmaker. Betfair's bookmaking model - bringing together two counterparties with opposing views - results in odds that are on average 20% better than bookmakers, according to the site's operators. Betfair punters offer odds based on opinion rather than on a set bookmakers' margin.