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Betfred is a long-standing bookmaker in the sports betting market within the UK and has humble beginnings after Fred Done, and his brother Peter, started the franchise with a first shop in the Greater Manchester suburb of Salford back in 1967.
The bookmaker has its offices in Birchwood, Warrington, and is considered to be one of the largest independent bookies in the world. Its reputation has also transcended beyond sports betting with the bookmaker finishing top of the North West Top 200 Businesses rankings for the past four years. As of the start of 2016, Betfred owns 1,370 betting shops across the UK.
Sponsorship has also been a big part of the expansion of the Betfred brand. The bookmaker is currently the title sponsor of the Rugby League Super League, World Snooker Championship and the Scottish League Cup. It also remains one of the biggest sponsors in UK horse racing and sponsor a number of greyhound racing tracks at Kinsley, Nottingham, and Sheffield.
Fred Done made bookmaker history back in March 1998 when Betfred became the first bookmaker to pay out early when it paid out on gamblers that backed Manchester United to win the Premier League title that season due to Done being a United fan himself. Unfortunately, Arsenal notoriously went on to pip United to the title that season.
It was then a case of history repeating itself when Betfred once again paid out early in 2012 on the Red Devils winning the title. However, on this occasion it was their city rivals Manchester City that pipped them at the post on goal difference.
The controversies have continued to be aplenty for Done and Betfred. During the 2004/05 season, Done wagered a £1 million bet with rival bookmaker Victor Chandler, now operating as BetVictor, that Manchester United would finish higher than Chelsea in the Premier League table.
In 2011, Betfred made the landmark decision to purchase The Tote for £265 million. The bookmaker made a pledge to invest over £150 million into UK horse racing over the following 7 years. As part of the deal, it also set up the Tote Racing Development Board which allowed figures within the industry to have more of a say on how things were done.