Tag: Horse racing

CDI completes United Tote stake sale to NYRA

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has finalised the sale of a 49% stake in its United Tote subsidiary to the New York Racing Association (NYRA).

The deal, agreed in August 2022, sees NYRA Content Management Solutions, a subsidiary of the NYRA, acquiring the stake. Financial terms of the United Tote sale were not disclosed by CDI.

United Tote primarily supplies totalisator systems, services and equipment. It also provides a range of technology services to process bets and pay-outs and pari-mutuel tote services.

The original deal said CDI would work with NYRA to provide a pari-mutuel solution through United Tote to reach customers. It was also agreed the United Tote pari-mutuel settlements business would be excluded from the sale and remain with CDI.

NYRA is a not-for-profit corporation that operates the three largest thoroughbred horse racing tracks in New York. These include Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, Queens; Belmont Park in Elmont; and Saratoga Race Course in Sarato..

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Legalising sports betting in Minnesota just got a lot trickier

The path to legal sports betting in Minnesota got a whole lot more complicated last week when the state racing commission gave its blessing for historical horse racing and several new gambling bills were filed.

Since the start of the session, Senator Matt Klein and Representative Zack Stephenson have been shepherding their state-wide, online mobile bills through the state’s long committee process. Stephenson brokered a deal between the tribes and charitable gaming to take one long-standing barrier to legal sports betting in Minnesota out of the way.

And then came 1 April when Minnesota’s horse racing commission voted to allow historical horse racing at horse tracks. Some say this is a violation of the state’s exclusivity agreement with the tribes and others say is outright illegal. The machines look similar to slot machines and in most jurisdictions are considered games of chance. This is also an area for which the tribes have exclusivity.

Whatever the situation, the decision has ..

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Tracks and tribes key sticking points in Minnesota wagering debate

Minnesota representative, Zack Stephenson, brought his legal online sports betting bill to the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee on 3 April, but was met with pushback from committee members.

Committee members pushed back on issues including horse racetracks and how to structure a deal for the state’s 11 tribes.

There was no vote, and HF 2000 is currently sitting in the House Taxes Committee awaiting a vote there. But Stephenson, who is the chair of the Commerce Finance and Policy Committee, said he wanted to have an informational session about Minnesota wagering legislation with his committee as the bill moves forward.

Stephenson’s bill, which was carried over from last session, has been heavily amended, including doubling the tax rate and adding in daily fantasy sports regulation. Stephenson also brokered a deal between the state’s charitable gaming foundations and the tribes that is reflected in the latest version of the bill.

But Commerce Finance and Policy Committe..

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Racecourse Media Group names Dowding as chief betting officer

Racecourse Media Group (RMG) has announced the appointment of Ben Dowding to the new role of chief betting officer.

Dowding takes up the position following the merger of the organisation’s domestic and international betting teams. He was previously director of betting at Racecourse Media Group.

RMG took the decision to combine its teams as more bookmakers are approaching rights acquisition on a global basis. Dowding will now oversee the enlarged team, taking on the new role with immediate effect.

Dowding is a long-serving member of the RMG team having joined the business in March 2013 as head of partnerships. He went on to become head of B2B and then director of betting, holding the latter role for more than six years.

Prior to his time with RMG, Dowding worked for The Jockey Club. Here, he spent time as sponsorship manager and regional sponsorship manager.

In addition, for the past three years, he has combined his duties at RMG with serving as a non-executive director at BocaSpor..

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ATG calls on banks to help combat “worrying” Sweden channelisation rates

Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp’s (ATG) channelisation report for Q4 has shown a continuation of worsening channelisation rates in Sweden.

ATG’s report estimated channelisation rates for gaming to be between 69%-82% in Sweden during Q4. This falls well behind the Swedish’s government’s target of 90% channelisation to legal operators.

The channelisation rate has fallen since the third quarter of 2023. ATG believes there is little sign of the trend being halted.

ATG found visitor traffic to unlicensed operators has increased tenfold since 2019. The research also highlights that out of 20 unlicensed sites with the highest Q4 visitor traffic, 19 shared the same platform providers as licensed operators.

Additionally, of the 20 black-market sites included in the report, none were on the Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen’s banned list.

“It is a very worrying development and our investigation shows that more still needs to be done to keep the unlicensed companies away,” ATG chief executive ..

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New York confirms plans for $1bn Belmont Park racing makeover

New York’s governor, Kathy Hochul, has confirmed plans for the $1bn transformation of the historic Belmont Park racecourse.

The project, which will include the construction of a completely new grandstand, will be complete in 2026. The majority of work will be concluded during the first quarter of 2026 with the building ready later that year.

Governor Hochul said the new 275,000 sq ft grandstand will offer “the modern amenities and hospitality offerings fans now expect”. New York Racing Association (NYRA), which will oversee construction, has now released a series of renderings ahead of commencement.

New renderings of the transformed belmont park have been released

The demolition of the current Belmont Park grandstand/clubhouse is slated to begin in March and will continue through early July. This summer’s Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will be held at Saratoga to allow for uninterrupted construction at Belmont Park.

New York authorities said the multi-year project will generate $1..

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Macau’s January revenue of MOP19.3bn nearly breaks post-Covid record

Macau generated MOP19.3bn (£1.9bn/€2.2bn/$2.4bn) in revenue in January, its second highest figure since reopening following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Only Macau’s October 2023 revenue number of MOP19.5bn surpassed the first month of 2024, a strong start to the year and with the Chinese New Year just around the corner.

January’s GGR was a hefty 67% increase on the same month last year, while it was also a 4.1% hike on December 2023.

Despite the figures, Macau’s January GGR still fell 14.4% behind the MOP22.1bn recorded in the final January before the pandemic started.

Macau’s Covid recovery expected to continue

Macau’s response to the devastating Covid-19 lockdown has been impressive, with 2023’s cumulative gross income of MOP183.1bn a 333.8% year-on-year increase. While that is still just 59.8% of the final full year before Covid, the growth seen since the easing of lockdown restrictions is expected to continue.

macau has flourished since the easing of most lockdown restrictions in ..

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The UK in 2024: Can the sports betting industry be saved?

After a turbulent 2023, the UK outlook for 2024 is not positive. While GGR might have been up by nearly 10%, this has been largely attributable to online casino.

Despite arguably being the world’s most famous market for sports betting, the UK is now in its most difficult position in recent history.

David Brown, a UK bookmaking industry veteran since 1976, and ex-trading director for William Hill, Coral and LadbrokesCoral, is certainly worried.

“I’ve been in the industry for 47 years and this is the most pessimistic I have ever been over the health of the UK sports betting market,” he states.

2023’s earnings: A sign of things to come

bet365 posted a £61.2m loss during its 2022-23 financial year despite increases in revenue

Earnings reports throughout 2023 have arguably precipitated this decline.

What should have been a record-breaking period – first the 2022 World Cup and then a packed holiday season of horse racing – instead became grim reading.

Bet365, the UK’s largest on..

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Top horse racing live data companies merge

Live horse racing data companies Total Performance Data (TPD) and TripleSdata (TSD) have agreed to a merger.

As a result of the merger, the companies will become one merged entity. The combined company will go on to supply live horseracing data from more than 100 tracks across 11 countries.

The entity will supply viewers with live and post-race tracking data. TPD‘s in-play odds will also be made available to racecourses worldwide.

In addition to the merger, the companies announced a shake-up of their management team. TSD founders Carlos Santo and Sebastian Scholz will join TPD’s board. Here, they will assist with managing a global team comprising more than 40 people.

Brad Higgins, executive director at TSD, is set to lead APAC sales. John McBroom, commercial director at TPD, will lead global sales.

Total Performance Data and TripleSdata will merge to create a combined company

Horse racing competing for attention

Will Duff Gordon, CEO of TPD said the merger improves TPD’s existin..

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Svenska Spel loses appeal against ATG over naming rights

Svenska Spel has lost its appeal against Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp (ATG) over the use of the phrase “Trav och Galopp” in a new racing product.

Svenska Spel’s use of the phrase, which translates to “trot and gallop” in English, was considered by the Patent and Market Court of Appeal to be an infringement on ATG’s company name.

ATG launched the initial trademark lawsuit back in December 2020. This was after a war of words between ATG chief executive Hasse Lord Skarplöth and his Svenska Spel counterpart, Patrik Hofbauer.

In a statement announcing ATG’s court victory, Skarplöth said: “That the supreme court also followed our line was expected. It must never be okay to use someone else’s company name and it feels good that the matter is now settled once and for all.

“It was important to establish that a competitor does not have the right to use our company name and exploit its good reputation.”

Another blow for Svenska Spel

The failed appeal comes in the wake of Svenska Spel announ..

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ATG CEO Skarplöth calls for differentiated tax following 4% rise proposal

Hasse Lord Skarplöth, the chief executive of Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp (ATG), has called for differentiated tax in response to the government announcing proposals to increase gambling tax by 4%.

In September, Sweden’s government (Regeringen) outlined plans to hike the gambling tax rate in the country from 18% to 22% of gross gaming revenue (GGR). If approved, the tax rise will come into effect in Sweden from 1 July 2024.

While Regeringen believes the move could bring in an additional SEK540.0m (£39.3m/€45.5m/$48.4m) in tax revenue each year, the proposals met with strong opposition from the industry, including the ATG.

In a blog, Skarplöth labelled Regeringen’s plans a “shock”, and called for taxes on horse and other sports betting to remain the same, while increasing those on igaming. Skarplöth cited examples of other European countries with differentiated gambling taxes as reasons for the Regeringen to rethink its proposals.

Skarplöth said: “It came as a shock, the proposal fo..

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Macau Jockey Club to cease operating horse racing from April

The Macau Horse Racing Company has agreed to cease offering horse racing from 1 April 2024.

Today (15 January), the Macau Horse Racing Company – which operates the Macau Jockey Club – signed an agreement with the special administrative region’s government. This agreement terminated the concession awarded to the Club to exclusively operate horse racing in Macau.

Lei Wai Nong, secretary for economy and finance, signed the agreement on behalf of the government.

Request to cease concession

The Macau Horse Racing Company submitted a request to the government to terminate the concession last year. The company cited difficulties in operations and a lacklustre horse racing environment as reasons for the termination request.

“Macau Horse Racing Company Limited has been operating at a loss, accumulated in excess of MOP2.5bn,” read a statement from the company.

“Moreover, there has been limited room for development and growth of the horse racing industry in Macau over the years and, includi..

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