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BetFair considering $2.5 billion IPO

24 August 2009

LONDON, England -- As reported by MarketWatch: "U.K. online gambling group Betfair may launch a 1.5 billion pound ($2.5 billion) initial public offering that could be a platform for consolidation in the sector if U.S. gambling restrictions are lifted, according to a report.

"The Web site's founders Bertie Black and Ed Wray will meet with banking adviser over the coming weeks to discuss what would be the U.K.'s first major listing since the global financial crisis hit, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

"A floatation would provide the company with capital so it can lead likely consolidation in the gambling sector, the newspaper reported. It added that a lifting of the U.S. ban on online gambling could spark deals in the industry, with some experts suggesting a change in the law could come as early as next year.

"Betfair is a betting exchange, rather than a traditional bookmaker. It allows customers to bet directly against each other on the outcome of sporting events, with the company taking a small percentage of the amount gambled. It has also expanded into casino games, poker and financial markets betting..."

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