UK-listed betting and gaming operator Betfair has expanded its offering in the Italian iGaming market with the launch of its core betting exchange product.

The launch follows an extensive testing process with the country’s regulator, the Agenzie delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM) and the country’s information and communications technology administrator Società Generale d'Informatica S.p.A. (SOGEI).

It marks the first time an exchange betting offering has gone live in the Italian market.

The exchange will operate with ring-fenced national liquidity and will be taxed at a rate of 20 per cent on commission. It will be available through the operator’s site, alongside existing sportsbook, poker and casino products.

Betfair chief executive Breon Corcoran said he was pleased to have seen his company become the first fully regulated exchange operator in the country.

He added that Betfair looked forward to bring the advantages of the platform to Italian bettors, such as the Cash Out feature which first went live in February 2011, and has since been rolled out for the fixed-odds sportsbook.

“We believe this launch marks an important step in our drive to grow sustainable revenues,” Corcoran explained.

The launch of the exchange has been subject to numerous delays, with Corcoran predicting that the operator would go live by the end of its 2013-14 financial year following the publication of the company’s Q3 results.

At the time, he said that as it was the first time Italy had licensed an exchange product, the launch was “dragging on” but added that it felt “very close.”

Shares in Betfair Group plc (Co. Data) (LSE:BET) are currently trading up 1 pence at 1,028.00 pence per share as of 09:25am in London this morning.