SBD/Issue 151/Finance

Taking A Gamble: Centaur's Galileo Fund Making Bets On Sports

 

The new Centaur Galileo hedge fund in London last Saturday was slated to begin "making investments not in the traditional financial playing fields of stocks, oil futures or real estate, but in the actual playing fields of soccer, tennis and horse racing," according to Nathaniel Popper of the L.A. TIMES. Experts said that Galileo, which requires a minimum investment of about $135,000, is "probably the first hedge fund to make bets on sports events." Galileo is "only for Europeans for now -- Centaur can't offer it in the U.S. without the blessing of the Securities and Exchange Commission." Centaur Managing Dir Tony Woodhams said that the company "would apply for that approval next year." Centaur, which will have "25 traders working on its London trading floor," claims to have a "proprietary number-crunching system that can make sports bets with far better results than the casual bettor." Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban in an e-mail said, "If they fully commit to a data-driven model, I think they can do well. In many respects, stocks are the bigger gamble." But BBR Partners Dir of Investment Management Brett Barth said that the "sports-betting angle alone would keep him away from Galileo" (L.A. TIMES, 4/17).

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