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Retail 24 B 2 B Sunday racing

There will be racing on every Sunday in 2011 except for the last one, which is Christmas Day. 34 Sundays are blessed with two race meetings, with Market Rasen allocated eight Sunday fixtures.

Flat ahead

British horseracing in 2011 will see 898 flat meetings, incorporating 300 all-weather fixtures and 582 jumps. There will be a break in the jump racing season of 10


with just a four day break for the flat season.

Blank days

The new fixture list has thrown up

four blank days of no racing in 2011. These are Good Friday on 22 April and the three days running up to Christmas 23-25 December, which fall on Friday- Sunday.

Night to twilight

A drop in evening meetings from 369 to 273 has been compensated for by an increase of 96 ‘twilight’ all-weather fixtures, which bridge the gap between afternoon and evening LBO service.

BettingBusinessInteractive • OCTOBER 2010

Global Draw gets flexible with Videobet

Gaming machines are arguably the most important product in the betting shop at the moment and Phil Horne wants to make them even better.

ext year is shaping up to be a big one for gaming machine supplier The Global Draw. Not only will the company’s exten- sive new supply contract with Ladbrokes be getting into full swing, but the technol- ogy sharing deal that The Global Draw signed with Playtech-owned Videobet earlier this year will start to bear fruit. The Global Draw gaming machines will all be running on the established Videobet gaming platform, which Global Draw managing director Phil Horne believes will take the product to the next level. He commented: “We’re beginning to push out our Videobet platform, it’s in over 100 shops, and by the early part of next year it will be rolled out throughout the entire Global Draw estate in the UK. At that point, we get access to all of Playtech’s games and all the additional functionality that the Videobet/Playtech platform provides which I firmly believe


will then push our capabilities from a technology standpoint ahead of the com- petition.”

Some would argue that the existing sys- tem was already ahead in the market given the firm’s Nevada gaming machines outshone the competition during Lad- brokes’ recent machine trials, leading The Global Draw to become the bookmaker’s main machine supplier, but Horne be- lieves the product can go even further. He explained: “There will be signifi- cantly enhanced reporting tools which will be supported by an increase in yield management functions to take advantage of all that real time data and analysis that will generate activity leading to business and cashbox growth. “There’s a push by bookmakers for dif- ferentiation and that is initially likely to be through content, so the Videobet plat- form will give us greater flexibility in which to push more games out more

quickly and have varied menus for differ- ent customers. We will also be able to offer more varied menus for customers throughout different parts of their estate and different times of the day as well as added promotional functionality.” Considering how heavily gaming ma- chines have been regulated over the past few years, and the fact that the seemingly endless ‘probation’ period has not seen any major issues arise, Horne thinks that there could now be discussions about re- laxing some of the rules.

“There is scope to introduce more than four machines per shop,” he said. “I think those people who aren’t that close to the business who fear a sudden increase from 30,000 to 40,000 machines in betting shops would see their worries unfound- ed. I don’t think a scale of any increase would be anything close to that. I think there are some betting shops that really struggle to satisfy customer demand at

certain peak times of the week. If they were able to offer a fifth gaming machine in those locations, and it would probably be a minority of locations rather than the majority, I think that would help satisfy customer demand and help generally with the economics around betting shops gen- erally, which are under pressure at the moment as they struggle to meet rising content costs in other parts of the busi- ness.”

One area where the gaming machine has seen rules loosen slightly is the inclu- sion of B3 games alongside B2 content, and Horne revealed that this has been slowly beneficial to the industry. “B3 pop- ularity is still growing,” he said. “Roulette is still the dominant piece of content on the platform, but less so than it was a year or two ago before B3 started making its mark. So B3 is continuing to grow in its popularity but it has still got quite a way to go to catch up with roulette.”

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