by Renee Israel
Betfair, the iconic betting exchange and sports betting group, is undergoing
several important changes under its new Chief Executive, Breon Corcoran.
This weekend, the group's director for sports exchange, poker and casino in
the United Kingdom, Peter Marcus, confirmed that he was involved in talks that
would eventually see him depart the group after 14 months.
Marcus was recruited from rival group, William Hill to head the UK
operations, which account for over half of Betfair's revenues.
While Betfair would not comment on the news that the Betfair UK Director
is to leave, it is believed that he will be on his way out within the next
Betfair Culling Translators
Peter Marcus' departure is just part of a larger move to cull the number of
employees at Betfair as the group moves closer to its core product and reducing
its expansion around the globe.
It was recently revealed that over 50 translators would be asked to leave the
group, with Betfair citing that it would be reducing the number of languages it
made available on foreign websites in eastern Europe, Nordic countries and Asia.
Instead, Betfair intends to concentrate on countries that are "more
"We are concentrating on some countries more than others," said Betfair.
The group would not disclose which countries it was reducing its translation
services in, and said it was not pulling out of these markets altogether.
However, Betfair did confirm that it would not try to recruit new customers in
these countries, and would reduce marketing costs.
Analysts, Morgan Stanley noted: "We think new management is making ongoing
changes to the geographic profile of the business."
Betfair, which was founded in 1999, employees over 2,000 people around the
world, mostly technology staff.
Betfair May Leave German Market
Another market which Betfair may soon be departing altogether is Germany.
Already, Betfair has withdrawn its sports betting exchange service in this
country after it was forced to pay a 5% turnover tax on sports betting stakes
under new German gambling rules.
As Betfair's smaller operations in Germany are unable to sustain the group's
presence in that country, it is strongly believed that it will leave the German
market altogether in the not too distant future.
More changes are expected after Corcoran announces the conclusions of his
strategic review of the company, which will most likely take place when Betfair
publishes its interim results on December 13th.