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Millennium shorts betting and gambling giant Flutter Entertainment 

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Izzy Englander, founder of the $61bn New York-based hedge fund Millennium Management, appears to be increasingly confident that the share price of international sports betting and gambling company Flutter Entertainment is set to decrease, according to a report by The Irish Times. 

According to the Central Bank’s register of short interest, Millennium Management began to appear in its short bet database alongside Flutter late last month. At the time, the fund was shown to have a bet against approximately 0.50% of the company’s shares. Given Flutter’s share price at that time, this represented a value equivalent to £137m (€160.3m) worth of shares. The share price had fallen from around £174 in March to just under £150 in April. 

Flutter’s shares have since rallied to a recent high of nearly £166 per share, though the short trade database indicates that Englander’s firm has increased its position over the same period, currently standing at 1.41% of Flutter’s shares. This is equivalent to just over £410m worth of the company’s shares, with the increase in value partly due to the rise in share price. 

A short trade is a speculative strategy where a trader borrows shares from a broker, sells them on the market, and then waits for the share price to fall. If the price falls, they can use the proceeds to buy back the now cheaper shares and keep the difference. 

Though the disclosed bet could be part of a broader strategy that Millennium chooses not to disclose or publicise, the increase in the size of the disclosed short positions nonetheless suggests that the firm believes that Flutter’s share price is likely to decrease in the near future. 

Flutter, which was formed out of a merger between Paddy Power and Betfair in 2015, was rebranded as such in 2019. The company owns the brands Betfair, FanDuel, Paddy Power, PokerStars, Sky Betting & Gaming and Sportsbet. 

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