Betfair closes Oddschecker gap; co-founder Andrew Black sells £1.5m shares

betfair-andrew-black-oddscheckerBetfair has closed the gap between itself and Bet365 on the Oddschecker top-10 for October. While the Stoke stalwarts don’t appear seriously in danger of losing their number one ranking – which they’ve held since March 2010 – the betting exchange closed the gap, improving to 17.58% of the UK online market while Bet365 fell to 18.5%. The rest of the top-10 reads as follows: Paddy Power (8.51%), William Hill (7.71%), Boylesports (6.57%), Stan James (6.31%), VCBet (5.26%), Ladbrokes (5.02%), SkyBet (4.98%) and Betfred (4.62%).

While Betfair’s soaring, co-founder Andrew Black is selling. In the week following the company announcing Paddy Power COO Breon Corcoran as its replacement for outgoing CEO David Yu, Black picked up some walking around money by selling £1.5m worth of his shares. The sale still leaves Black with a 9.9% stake – good for third largest shareholder behind Softbank and co-founder Ed Wray – worth around £77m (at today’s current price of 744p/share).

Betfair’s ongoing fascination with QR codes appears unlikely to end anytime soon. First, it was beach volleyball arses, then it was Bromley FC noggins. Now they’ve progressed (in a manner of speaking) from footballers to footballs. Ahead of Tuesday’s Republic of Ireland v. Estonia match at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium (which the shamrocked ones decisively won 4-0, making them Euro 2012 bound), Betfair hired some comely lasses to construct a giant QR code made entirely of footballs. While some would question the wisdom of constructing something visible only by planes (and any iPhone-equipped pigeons that happened to stop by for a dump), it did provide Betfair the opportunity to orchestrate a charity competition between mobile-ready skydivers, as evidenced below…