Seriously, would it have killed Betfair to hold off on their IPO announcement for another month? After all, the fight between bookmakers and the British Horseracing Authority over the shrinking horseracing levy was supposed to be resolved by Oct. 31. Given that the BHA were already on record as believing that Betfair were shirking their responsibilities (i.e. contributions) to the levy, the much discussed ‘going public’ news has the BHA ‘going apeshit’.
The BHA is particularly irked by what it sees as Betfair’s attempt to have its cake and eat it too, specifically, in that Befair likes to claim that it’s not a bookmaker when talking up its exchange betting system, then turns around and claims that it should be treated as any other bookmaker when the formula for Levy contributions are concerned. According to the BHA, this ‘little bit pregnant’ schtick has unfairly deprived British racing of millions of pounds over the years, and now that Betfair’s principals are gleefully talking up the billion or so pounds they think their company’s worth, the BHA would like its several million pounds of flesh.