I see that Bodog is offering odds on the Betfair float. If you haven’t seen it, here’s what they’ve got:
- Company market cap £1.5bn at IPO: Over Evs, Under 8-11
- End Day 1 trading above issue price: Yes 1-6, No 15-4
- End of week trading trading above issue price: Yes 4-6, No 11-10
Now, it seems to me that it’s Betfair’s float, and Betfair must be paying a lot of money to advisors and things to get it done.
They’ve got their lawyers, their bankers, their PR people, and other strategists. Not to mention their Chief Executive, and we all know that they get well paid. These people all cost a fortune. It’s a small army of people, cobbled together at great expense.
So on what basis can Bodog offer a market on it?
Have they asked permission? I don’t think they have.
Are they paying a profit share? I don’t think they are.
But it is clear that they are making money on someone else’s creation.
If I were in charge of Betfair, I would be demanding that there was a right to bet. I think it’s outrageous. There should also be a levy, except that the levy’s an anachronism. So there should be a commercial mechanism, unless that comes to less than the levy, in which case there should obviously be a levy.
I’d write more, but I’m off to talk to the European Commission about it. And the government. Except, they’re on my side already.
The writer is head of the British Horseracing Authority and Chairman of the Sports Rights Owners’ Coalition. (Oh, OK – maybe he isn’t. ;))
[PS Remarkably, many people seem to have taken this post seriously, and have missed the fact that it is meant to be ironic. Not many of the many live on the east side of the Atlantic.]