Online betting company Betfair ponders on £1.5bn float on the stock market
The recent stock market rally has encouraged Betfair to think about the possibility of floating on the stock market. The company has been operating for over 10 years has always been profitable but needs to raise some capital which will allow them to remain competitive in this cut throat industry.
The online gambling website has played down the possible public listing, although there have been some leaks about the floatation is being actively considered. The peer-to-peer betting website has consistently made large profits, but their tax status which is uncertain and the economic down turn has delayed an exit for the founders Andrew Black and Ed Wray, who own 26% of the company. The other main shareholders of the company include a Japanese bank (Softbank) a collection of wealthy individual backers and a private equity firm.
The success of the company is down to the odds offered are better than that of bookmakers, and due to the customers of the site are not playing again the house, the tax is therefore not the same as a typical bookmaker. The online gambling website takes a commission of up to 5% on each of the winning bets, and they took around 2 billion bests last year.