Tag: Horse racing

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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Betfred extends sponsorship of Derby Festival

Bookmaker Betfred has agreed to extend its title sponsorship of major UK horseracing event the Epsom Derby by an additional year.

Betfred sponsored the Derby Festival for the first time in 2023 in an initial three-year deal. This has now been extended by a further year, covering each event until at least 2026.

As part of the new deal, the bookmaker will now hold naming rights on each day of the two-day event

Betfred will also expand its backing of races during the festival. The bookmaker will support a total of six races at each edition of the event, with the existing deal only covering two races.

Betfred boss hails “memorable” first year

“Following on from a memorable two days at Epsom last year we are delighted to further develop our support of the Betfred Derby Festival,” Betfred boss Fred Done said. “We very much look forward to working with the team to keep the fixture at the forefront of world racing.”

Amy Starkey, managing director for the east region at Jockey Club Raceco..

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British, Irish and Japanese horse racing industries form committee

British, Irish and Japanese horse racing regulatory bodies have joined forces to create the Joint Cooperation Committee.

The deal sees the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Horse Racing Ireland team up with the Japan Racing Association (JRA).

The aims of the committee include promoting Japanese horses, while easing the travel of connections between the regions. Other objectives include the enhancement of awareness of each industry, creating a regulatory partnership and “further internationalising” horse racing.

The chairman of the new committee will be Joe Saumarez Smith, who is also the BHA chairman.

Commenting on the partnership, he said: “The British and Irish horse racing industries have enjoyed a close and fruitful relationship with the JRA – and the wider Japanese racing industry – for many years now.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with the JRA and are hugely grateful for their significant support. This can only lead to increased participation in each other’s ra..

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National Thoroughbred League announces new Las Vegas headquarters

The National Thoroughbred League (NTL) has promised to “redefine the landscape of sports entertainment” after announcing a new headquarters in Las Vegas.

The NTL launched earlier this year and pits racehorses against each other in teams as part of a league. This in turn simplifies the betting experience.

The move of headquarters has been made with the intention of taking advantage of Las Vegas’ growing role as a sports hub, as well as giving the NTL more opportunity to tap into strategic partnerships. The chance to grow its fan engagement also appealed to the NTL.

Tom Ludt, NTL president, stated: “We are thrilled to announce the relocation of NTL to the vibrant city of Las Vegas. This move represents a strategic decision to align our league with a community that shares our passion for sports and entertainment.

“Las Vegas provides an extraordinary platform for NTL to thrive, with a depth of talent in sports wagering and event management.”

Las Vegas’ growing importance in sport


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Churchill Downs opens $90m Derby City Gaming Downtown in Kentucky

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has opened its new $90.0m (£71.5m/€83.4m) Derby City Gaming (DCG) Downtown historical racing machine (HRM)venue in Kentucky.

The facility, CDI’s sixth in the Bluegrass State, has a Kentucky Derby theme and houses 500 HRMs. The CDI venue also features three food and beverage amenities, 130 parking spaces and an exterior 3D video board.

CDI said the project generated 400 construction jobs and resulted in over 150 permanent jobs at the venue. More than $14.0m of the investment was spent with minority, women and veteran-owned subcontracting services.

“This project is one of which I’m particularly proud because in addition to its impact of the Kentucky horse industry, it’s going to bring new energy to our downtown and stimulate investments like it,” CDI CEO Bill Carstanjen said.

“DCG Downtown will give locals, bourbon tourists, convention attendees and all our visitors, another much needed entertainment facility in this region. Investing in downtown L..

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ARC and RMG to launch shared channels for international racing wagering

Arena Racing Company (ARC) and Racecourse Media Group (RMG) have joined forces to create shared channels to distribute UK racing around the world.

The five-year partnership will begin in January with ARC and RMG jointly offering British and Irish racing content. This will be promoted and commercialised across international tote and pari-mutuel markets as a single service.

Racing content will be offered under Great British & Irish Racing (GBI Racing). This served a similar function between 2010 and 2018.

RMG represents 34 British racecourses including Jockey Club-operated racecourses, York and Goodwood. ARC, meanwhile, works with 16 British racecourses and several independent racecourses such as Ascot, Chester and Newbury.

Meanwhile, a separate service for various fixed-odds territories will broadcast coverage from British racecourses. This will also cover ARC’s Premier Greyhound Racing service. Broadcast services for tote and fixed-odds channels will be provided by Vermantia, ARC..

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GC’s Andrew Rhodes walks the tightrope on affordability checks

Fifty-year UK industry veteran, David Brown, evaluates the tightrope being walked by the Gambling Commission on affordability checks.

During the “largest ever gathering of industry leaders” on 10 November, Andrew Rhodes, the Gambling Commission’s (GC) chief executive, attempted to walk the tightrope on affordability checks.

The story of affordability checks has created the most united front between punter, racing media and bookmaker that the UK has seen.

To his credit, we can certainly say that Rhodes has arguably done more to bring the industry together than anyone ever before.

However, that united front is now against him and the Gambling Commission, especially following his speech on 8 November.

The challenge that the GC now faces is the need to balance player protection while keeping the industry sustainable.

The speech: what went wrong

Gambling Commission CEO Andrew Rhodes has a tightrope to walk WITH AFFORDABILITY CHECKS

The GC has a precarious tightrope to walk. Howev..

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