Tag Archives: Horse racing

ATG chief slams bonuses as “embarrassing”

ATG chief slams bonuses as “embarrassing”

Hasse Lord Skarplöth, CEO of Swedish state-affiliated horse racing operator ATG, has said that bonuses are “embarrassing” and “drive gambling addiction” in a blistering critique of the common industry practice.

Bonuses are the practice of offering free or extra bets to consumers in order to attract or retain players to their platforms; with the method sometimes coming under criticism as an inducement that helps contribute to negative social responsibility outcomes.

Sweden has a stringent bonus regime, only allowing operators to offer one bonus per player at sign-up, worth no more than SEK100. This has been criticised by the Swedish Moderate Party – which have called for the rules to be reformed:

Hasse Lord Skarplöth

“This would make it easier for gaming companies to retain customers in the licensed market and have long-term relationships with the players, both of which increase consumer protection,” said the party.

Much of the industry has also opposed the bonus ban. However, as ..

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FDJ opens talks over ZEturf Group acquisition

FDJ opens talks over ZEturf Group acquisition

French national lottery operator Française des Jeux (FDJ) has entered into exclusive negotiations over the acquisition of online horse racing and sports betting brand ZEturf Group.

Details of the talks or financial terms of the potential deal were not disclosed, but FDJ did state that the purchase would form part of wider plans to expand its presence in France’s online gambling market.

Founded in 2001, ZEturf employs approximately 100 staff and processed almost €800.0m (£701.6m/$802.5m) in wagers, including more than €100.0m in pool bets, in 2021.

According to FDJ, online horse racing betting accounts for more than 50% of ZEturf bets. This makes the business France’s second largest operator in this segment with a market share of around 20%.

In addition to its activities in France, ZEturf operates in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain.

Should the acquisition proceed to the next stage, the deal would be subject to approval by competition and regulatory authorities

The talks come a..

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BetMakers CEO optimistic as revenue rockets after Sportech acquisition

BetMakers CEO optimistic as revenue rockets after Sportech acquisition

BetMakers chief executive Todd Buckingham said the business is now “unquestionably robust and independent of any single contract or strategy”, following rapid revenue growth in 2021-22, aided by the acquisition of Sportech’s global tote arm.

The business brought in AU$91.7m in revenue during the year ended 30 June, though its losses also increased following the deal.

Global betting services – which previously made up the vast majority of BetMakers’ revenue – brought in AU$19.5m, up by 179.3%.

However, with acquisition-driven growth in other segments, it was no longer the leading revenue generator for the business.
Instead, the global tote arm – acquired from Sportech last year – was the new leader. Tote revenue was AU$46.9m, up from just AU$1.7m a year earlier as the acquisition closed in the final weeks of 2020-21.

The BetMakers global racing network brought in AU$4.1m, up by 28%.

Costs of goods sold also increased, but more slowly, from AU$9.3m to AU$25.4m, resulting in a gross..

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UK Tote Group names Spencer and Holt non-executive directors

UK Tote Group names Spencer and Holt non-executive directors

Pool betting operator UK Tote Group has appointed Lord Spencer of Alresford and Mark Holt as non-executive directors to its board.

UK Tote said the double addition would support its ongoing growth plans, with the focus on product innovation, better value, improved customer experience and strong partnerships to create more liquidity and bigger pools.

Lord Spencer is an entrepreneur and founder of interdealer broker ICAP, which became a FTSE100 business in 2006, and its successor, electronic markets services provider NEX plc. He is also one of more than 150 investors in UK Tote.

In addition to acting as a board director of a small number of private businesses, Spencer became chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies in 2020.

Holt brings experience and knowledge from his time working in senior technology roles with a number of businesses. These included spells as chief technology officer at CPA Global and chief technology officer for Trainline.

He is currently chief product and engi..

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BHA appoints Alison Enticknap to new strategy role

BHA appoints Alison Enticknap to new strategy role

The British Horseracing Association (BHA) has appointed Alison Enticknap to the newly created role of director of strategy and change.

In her new position Enticknap will lead the BHA’s coordination of industry strategy, and work with colleagues across the industry.

Enticknap’s new role will be placed within the BHA’s new strategy and change department, which is currently in development.

The department will oversee cross-industry projects and project delivery, as well as building capacity.

Enticknap has held the role of interim director of communications and corporate affairs at the BHA since 2021, having first joined the company in 2018.

“I see this role as a huge opportunity for racing to work together to address our biggest challenges and to seize important opportunities, ” said Enticknap. “The prize is enormous if we can collaborate as an industry and get this right.”

“I look forward to working across racing, with its wealth of knowledge and expertise, and helping to secure t..

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Caesars Racebook launches in Florida and Ohio

Caesars Racebook launches in Florida and Ohio

The Caesars Racebook wagering app has launched in Florida and Ohio today (1 June).

Caesars Racebook is a collaboration between the a collaboration between Caesars Sportsbook and the online betting arm of the New York Racing Association (NYRA Bets), using the NYRA Bets platform to offer pari-mutuel wagering on over 250 race tracks globally.

This includes racing from Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course and a number of Caesars operated racecourses, such as Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Horseshoe Indianapolis.

The app also uses the Caesars Rewards loyalty program to offer bettors the chance to win exclusive experiences every time they place a wager.

Caesars and NYRA first entered into a partnership in January.

“The launch of Caesars Racebook is an important milestone as we continue to add wagering opportunities for our customers and livestreaming content for the first time,” said Dan Shapiro, senior vice president and chief development officer of Caesars Digital.

“Caesars Racebook is tr..

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SIS appoints new heads for racing trading and esports

SIS appoints new heads for racing trading and esports

Live betting services provider Sports Information Services (SIS) has appointed Adam Conway as head of competitive gaming and Aiden Tracey as head of racing trading.

Conway moves into his new role having previously served as head of racing trading at SIS and will oversee the full operation of the esports-focused SIS Competitive Gaming division.

SIS said the business unit has been built specifically for sportsbooks, allowing bettors to watch and bet on live broadcasts of head-to-head events between gamers on esports titles such as CS:GO, as well as Ebasketball and Esoccer.

Tracey, who previously served as racing trading manager for SIS, will replace Conway. His new remit will be to continue the development of SIS’ trading offering, while also overseeing risk management for operators of all sizes.

Tracey has been with SIS for five years, starting out as lead horse racing trader. Prior to this, he spent eight years with Sporting Index.

“These new appointments serve to further strengt..

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Churchill Downs revenue hits record $364.1m in Q1

Churchill Downs revenue hits record $364.1m in Q1

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has opened 2021 with a record-breaking performance over the three months to 31 March.

Group revenue for the first quarter of 2022 increased 12.3% year-on-year to $364.1m (£290.4m/€345.9m), a new record for the business.

Gaming was the top performer over Q1 with revenue of $179.2m, up 16.4% year-on-year, aided by capacity restrictions at its Oxford Casino Hotel in Maine, Flordia’s Calder Casino and Presque Isle in Pennsylvania.

The gaming division is set to expand further through the acquisition of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, which adds properties in New York, Virginia and Iowa to CDI’s portfolio.

The operator’s advance deposit wagering business Twinspires followed with revenue of $101.4m, down marginally year-on-year, after a decline in horse racing revenue was partially offset by growth from its sport and casino business. That operation is being wound down, however.

CDI’s live and historical horse racing business reported a 34.8% jump in r..

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ATG revenue stable in Q1 as casino helps offset racing decline

ATG revenue stable in Q1 as casino helps offset racing decline

Net profit for Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp (ATG) declined slightly in Q1 of 2022, which the business said was mostly due to a greater focus on higher-cost verticals of non-racing sports and gaming.

Net gaming revenue was exactly stable year-on-year, at SEK1.27bn (£102.6m/€121.9m/$128.9m).

Almost all of this net gaming revenue, at SEK1.06bn, came from online operations, up by 3.5%.

Retail revenue, on the other hand, was down 14.7% to SEK208m.

Looking at net gaming revenue by product type instead, horse racing brought in SEK970m, down 7.4%.

“Despite the decline, the figure is historically high,” ATG chief executive Hasse Lord Skarplöth said.

Sports betting revenue was up 27.3% to SEK177m and casino revenue grew 47.6% to SEK121m.

“We continue to gain market share in Sweden and consolidate our position in sports betting,” Skarplöth said.

Explaining the rapid increase in casino revenue, Skarplöth said that a key factor was the removal of Sweden’s SEK5,000 deposit cap for online ca..

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