Listed UK company, BetBrokers, the firm you were supposed to use if you struggled to get bets on yourself, went into administration last Friday. The peculiar business model always had its doubters (big bookies close down winners, so most end up on Betfair anyway. Do you think bookies really want to take bigbets from unnamed accounts?) and in the end, those doubts won through. But perhaps it was just shabbily run. It wouldn't be the first occasion that a good idea was ruined by people not knowing how to run a business properly.
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
I believe you are correct when you say it was shabbily run. Certain board members were pretty cueless. In an interview on the Interactive investor website, their CEOReplyDelete
(the only Execiutive Director)shows a distinct lack of judgement and knowledge about the gaming business. He doesn't even seem to understand that gambling is illegal in most of the USA. He also has a history of failure on the AIM market as well. Affinity Internet Holdings, the company he promotes as being his great success on the Betbrokers website, went into administration with, apparently, a big hole in the accounts! One of their Non-exec directors is no better. Non- Exec Derek Tullett, is a septugenarian who (according to the BB website) is Chairman of New9to5.com. Is it wise for Tullett to brag about this? Not really, the company went bust sometime ago, but presumably Tullett is not aware of this because if he was, surely he would not be stupid enough to publicise his involvment when the company has gone into liquidation without filing accounts. It seems that there should be little surprise that Betbrokers failed if this is the calibre of people they had running the show. If I were a shareholder I would really want to know what sort of business they were running. For a stock to go from 15p to a fifth of a penny is a shocking performance over less than two years since admission to the markets. Surely there should be questions regarding the original valuation, as their shares only moved one way from day one. A very bad smell about this whole affair.