|Online betting is becoming respectable (outside the US, at least), and the suits are beginning to take notice. So much so that shares in Sportingbet have doubled their price this year, closing last week at 83.75p and giving the company a market capitalization of £179m ($329m). A weekend report in the UK press detailed two City high-flyers who have bet heavily on Sportingbet, namely Stephen Whittaker and Tim Steer, AA and A-rated fund managers at New Star. |
Steer’s UK Aggressive fund began buying up Sportingbet shares in May this year, and has amassed 1.34m shares, while Whittaker probably got a better SP by piling in February this year. Whittaker’s UK Growth fund now owns 2.6m shares in the bookie.
Sportingbet had turnover of over £1bn last year, and posted a 557% increase in profits to £9.2m ($16.9m) in April this year. The company has over one million registered punters, taking an average eight bets per second from 104 countries. It operates in 24 currencies. Its biggest market is the US, but Europe is where it is experiencing its fastest growth.