Rumours have been rife in recent months and this article confirms it, IASBet, the Australian corporate bookmaking operation headed by Mark Read, is up for sale. Read must be about 60 now and probably feels the time is right to sit back and enjoy his money rather than stressing about the demands of shareholders. Ever since floating back in 1999 at $2, it's been a pretty lame stock, most recently trading around the 30c mark. He hopes to sell for $1 a share which is pretty ambitious in the current climate. I started my career in the betting industry and still own a small lump of shares. I'd be happy to get any more than the two cases of beer it has been worth for the past five years!
The Christmas Hurdle from Leopardstown, a good Grade 2 race during the holiday period. But now it will go into history as the race which brought Betfair down. Over £21m at odds of 29 available on Voler La Vedette in-running - that's a potential liability of over £500m. You might think that's a bit suspicious, something's fishy, especially with the horse starting at a Betfair SP of 2.96. Well, this wasn't a horse being stopped by a jockey either - the bloody horse won! Look at what was matched at 29. Split that in half and multiply by 28 for the actual liability for the layer(s). (Matched amounts always shown as double the backers' stake, never counts the layers' risk). There's no way a Betfair client would have £600m+ in their account. Maybe £20 or even £50m from the massive syndicates who regard(ed) Betfair as safer than any bank, but not £600m. So the error has to be something technical. However, rumour has it, a helpdesk reply (not gospel, natur