New Betfair boss playing it safe with focus on regulated nations

THE NEW chief executive of Betfair has outlined plans to focus on regulated gambling markets, indicating a shift from the strategy outlined by former boss David Yu.

Breon Corcoran, who joined the online exchange-betting operator in the summer from Paddy Power, said the regulatory environment in certain countries was “challenging” and thus the company would “focus investment within regulated markets with sustainable revenues”.

The shift, which essentially means dropping support for markets such as Russia and Canada, follows Betfair’s recent exits from Germany and Greece.

The move will cut Betfair revenues by roughly a quarter.

The new plan was announced as the company posted a £64m loss in the six months to November, owing mainly to acquisition costs and Corcoran’s £81m writedowns.

With these effects stripped out, higher costs moved pre-tax profits 22 per cent lower to £21m, even as revenues were five per cent up at £200.6m.

Corcoran also announced a £20m cost-saving plan, which he said would make Betfair “a leaner and more dynamic business”.

“We have identified a number of areas requiring change and fixing these will take time,” he said.