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Mark Blandford (born 1957, Hereford) is the founder of Sportingbet plc, at one time the world's largest bookmaking operation and a pioneer in online gambling. Blandford is also the former Chairman and CEO.



Blandford was one of the earliest offline bookmakers to see the potential for sports betting online. Previously the owner of a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ bookmaking operation for over 15 years, Mark recognized the potential of the internet in the mid 1990s and sold his chain to Tote Bookmakers in 1997. In October 1998 he launched Sportingbet and in January 2001 the Company floated on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market in a landmark transaction for the online gaming industry [1]. With Sportingbet, Blandford went on to be voted AIM Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002[2] and later earned the company the honor of AIM Transaction of the Year in 2005 [3]. Blandford left day to day operations at Sportingbet in 2006 and now works as a venture capital investor.

Investing career

In recent years, Blandford has formed a venture capital fund focusing on the leisure sector. The fund, called Valhalla Investments, has made a handful of investments in the online gambling industry. Industry analysts pay close attention to Blandford's investments and he is a featured speaker at many gaming industry events[4]. Publicly disclosed investments include 2009 Future Mobile Award winner mfuse[5][6] and 2009 OnHollywood 100 listed World Sports Network[7][8].

See also




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