|Betfair.com, the UK-based online betting exchange, has no plans for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), but said the planned liberalization of UK gambling laws will have little to do with any flotation further down the line. Andrew Silverman, director of public affairs for Betfair, said “The modernization of gaming laws is something that we support and we have not mooted any such plans to float.” |
Betfair is the dominant online betting exchange with up to 80% of the market, and it is still an independent company. This has fuelled rumours that the company is about to appoint advisers to handle an IPO.
Betfair was reportedly looking to raise £400 million via a listing, but may run into a tax problem: the UK government sources cited by a report in The Observer said a Gambling Commission will rule whether punters using a betting exchange are professional or casual gamblers. Professionals will require licenses and will be liable for tax.
Even though Betfair has 200,000 live registered customers, it derives most of its commission from its top 1,500 punters who each make over of £15,000 each year.