We launched our first online interactive betting service in June 2000 through our www.paddypower.com website. This was subsequently launched in the UK in March 2001 and has grown successfully since then.
The online division remains the fastest growing area of the business. Since launch it has seen significant development and established itself firmly in the top five UK online betting sites. The significant growth in the number of active customers has been achieved through increased penetration of the UK market, as well as continued growth in the Irish market. The focus on expansion into geographical areas outside of the UK & Ireland is highlighted by the recent addition of our Spanish language site. The continuing improvements in broadband availability throughout the UK and Ireland should provide a strong base for continued customer growth in the future.
The product offering has continued to develop with a wide number of ongoing enhancements being made to both site functionality and the range of betting opportunities. We are a market leader in the range of markets we offer, and are constantly introducing innovative markets which can't be found anywhere else. The introduction of Bet & Watch allows customers the facility to view every Ireland and UK horse race live online. And if you miss the race, you can check out the result on our Results service which allows customers to view results for every event we offer as soon as the market is settled. Customers who cannot access a computer are also able to bet on their mobile phone through our innovative mobile betting service.
Given the nature of online customers and the easy access to multiple betting opportunities, this constant development of the product offering is essential in this area. These enhancements, along with technical improvements to increase performance, generate both customer loyalty and increased revenue opportunities.