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Betfair is Looking to Float and Andrew Black to Retire


Chip Leatherby

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It was announced today that the massive online betting organisation Betfair is looking to float on the stock market in October of this year.  Betfair has been valued at a massive £1.5 billion.  This will really put the cat among the pigeons for those who have shares in the gambling sector.  Stock market trading of online gambling companies have never returned to their glory days since the US made online gambling illegal in the States.  People who had massses of money in PartyGaming or really felt the pinch as the share prices plummeted over night.  More established bookmakers such as William Hill and Ladbrokes have struggled with high taxation and a slowing market.  Both companies moved operations away from the UK to avoid the tax burden of running business in the UK and the share prices have dropped considerably over the last 4 years.  Betfair could be trying to position themselves cleverly in the market waiting for the US to open their doors.  Betfair is very unique in what it does.  For those of you unfamiliar they act across the majority of their platforms as the middle man matching people betting for and against an event.  This would mean that their liabilities are massiveley less than the likes of Ladbrokes who have to cover their own bets.  This also means that the punter can often find very good odds and money making opportunites within Betfair.

Betfair will see two of its Non Executive Directors depart in October.  Andrew Black and Chris Batterham.  Together they are suspected to own roughly 22% of Betfair.  It is difficult to speculate at this stage why this tenure is ending.  Andrew Black is a former professional gambler and Chris Batterham is a former JP Morgan trader. 


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