Competitive pressure from British bookmaker Betfair could get even greater if rumours of a £1.5 billion float are true.

The public offer could provide the group with the means for overseas acquisitions, London newspapers report, saying that Rothschild, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley could have roles in an IPO.

Betfair chief David Yu has singled-out Tote Tasmania as one possible target, though Betfair’s local division has denied this. Indeed the company formally pulled out of the race last month.

Tatts Group and Ladbrokes have also pulled out of the bidding for The Tote, which could be sold as early as next month. Tabcorp is the other logical bidder for the state-owned betting business, with unconfirmed rumours that reclusive high roller Zeljko Ranogajec is also in the game.

A sale price of up to $300 million has been estimated for Tote Tasmania.

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Michael Feller: Bookmaking: the sale of Tote Tasmania looks to be on track, with Betfair emerging as a leading contender.