Science

The tech geeks who took on the bookies and made billions – The Times


Fornass and Steinkjer started out by offering bookmakers the chance to avoid arbitrage issues

When two enterprising Norwegian computer science students hit on a sure-fire way of beating the bookmakers, they could hardly have imagined their tiny company would 20 years later be worth billions of pounds.

Petter Fornass and Tore Steinkjer, who were studying for master’s degrees at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, developed a tool that “crawled” the internet recording odds provided by bookmakers. They devised a programme to show when any differences in those odds could be exploited so that betting on different outcomes with two or more bookmakers would deliver a guaranteed profit. It provided a useful way to supplement their income, but they started to find



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