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Betting exchange WBX announces closure

19 March 2015

WBX, the betting exchange set up as a rival to Betfair who once put up a £1 million bonus for a hurdler's "triple crown", have closed blaming regulatory costs.

The company, which was founded in 2006, said that while betting was suspended all members would be able to log in to withdraw their funds while all long-term markets would be settled when results were known.

Chief executive Malcolm Gray said in a statement: "I have always taken a long view with WBX and believed that we'd become a genuine alternative to Betfair on the strengths of our great platform and commitment to putting every exchange player back in control.

"Unfortunately the business strategy is no longer viable due to the rising costs of regulatory compliance and levies in the United Kingdom, along with the increasingly prohibitive stance of various betting jurisdictions.

"Though I am of course disappointed that WBX is closing, I am proud of my team and the fairness in which the exchange has operated for almost ten years. Please rest assured that WBX will continue to service its members and affiliates in the same spirit during the wind-down period."

In an attempt to raise the company's profile in the early years, WBX sponsored almost 200 races, offered zero commission promotions and initiated a £1m bonus for the connections of a horse winning the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, Christmas Hurdle and Champion Hurdle.

Go Native threatened to win the bonus after landing the first two legs in 2009 but was beaten at Cheltenham after which WBX announced the bonus would not be offered again.

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