Name on the trophy Betting
Sportech is continuing to spread its wings away from the UK and its traditional
customer base as it diversifies globally.
INTERIM REPORT F
ootball pools operator Sportech has revealed it intends to launch
a cricket pools game in the second half of the year in the Indian sub-continent. The firm’s joint venture partner in India, Playwin, is owned by the Essel Group, which has just awarded a provisional gaming licence in the area.
Chairman Roger Withers explained: “The decision to enter India, one of the world’s biggest countries with a rapidly expanding economy, is expected to start to realise its potential shortly as our Indian joint venture’s arrangements with Playwin, India’s largest lottery busi- ness, gathers momentum. As a consequence of emerging regulation, our primary focus during 2011 has been working with our partner to extend their activities into the provision of pool games, initially on cricket and foot- ball.
“Playwin’s parent company, the Essel Group, has been awarded a provi- sional online gaming licence in the state of Sikkim and we anticipate a trial launch of the cricket pools into the state in the near future and would expect the roll out of
William Hill has signed a seven-figure deal with the Scottish FA to become the title sponsor of the Scottish Cup for the next three years. Gareth Davis, chairman of William Hill, said: “It seems fitting for the most established and biggest bookmaker in Scotland to be attached to the oldest Association trophy in world football and we at William Hill consider it an honour to be able to put our name to the Scottish Cup.”
Football pools not just cricket
SPORTECH IS HOPING TO LAUNCH A CRICKET POOLS IN INDIA
TRADITIONAL VIEW OF EXCHANGE
Betting exchange Betdaq has launched a new ‘back only’ website called 1Bet. The prices, which are derived from the global betting exchange, will not be subject to any commis- sion. Marketing director Shane McLaughlin explained: “We are aiming to reach out to a new audi- ence through this new feature and to give our members as much choice as possible. BETDAQ 1Bet is perfect for anyone who wants the simplicity of the traditional bookmaker style and commission- free betting, while still having access to the better odds and more advanced features that the exchange offers. It’s all about giving our members the choice to bet as they prefer.”
FRENCH POOLS IN BELGIUM
products across India in due course as regulations allow.” The company as a whole saw revenues double to £57.4m for the first half of the year with an adjusted profit figure before tax up 28 per cent to £7.4m. The core Football Pools busi- ness was key to these figures as it contributed an adjusted operating profit of £8.2m, although this was down on the previous year’s figure of £9.4m. However, opera- tional overheads were reduced by £1.1m versus the same period last year. Chief executive Ian Penrose commented: “To enable our customers to have more opportunities to win this jackpot, we have, from the start of the 2011/12 football season, extended the number of opportunities to play our core Classic Pools game by ten competi- tions to 83 in 2011. Whilst not all customers will take
Sportech’s decision to acquire its racing division last year has certainly given the firm more scope for expansion rather than forever trying to arrest the long- term decline of the Football Pools. Not only is Sportech Racing already a massive endeavour, it processes approximately £8.5bn of horseracing bets internationally, it also holds unique positions in both Connecticut, USA and in the Netherlands whereby it has exclusive licences to operate all betting on horseracing. This has generated £17.7m of revenue for Sportech Racing in the six month period. Its position as an established betting operator in the US also leaves it in prime position should there be any deregulation there.
up these additional games and some games will be used as promotional tools, we are pleased with the early results of this initiative and expect to see this deliver a positive financial impact in the second half of 2011. “From the start of the new season we have also intro- duced a daily Jackpot 12 game with a continual rolling jackpot until won. We believe
that over time, this will create the potential for significant pool jackpots on an easy-to- play product which will con- tinue to attract new customers and new distribu- tion partners to the group.” Sportech is currently migrating its egaming systems and customers to the single wallet offering of its strategic partner Playtech and has worked on
retaining customers over the period. As a result, active customers in the period amounted to 19,200, down from 21,900, with gross win per player stable at £179 (from £182). The firm said: “In view of this uncertain operating environment, we are pleased to have held EBITDA and operating profit at the same level as the previous year at £0.9m (2010: £0.9m) and £0.8m (2010: £0.8m) respectively.” Sportech also announced that its racing subsidiary is now focused on further developing the business after successful initial inte- gration into the group. Some £13.2m (41 per cent) of the Sportech Racing revenue was derived from providing tote services to racetracks and betting shops and the company is also an interna- tional supplier of tote systems, terminals and asso- ciated software services.
Fortuna strengthens Polish operations E
uropean betting opera- tor Fortuna Entertain- ment Group is in negotiations to snap up betting chain Tipsport PL, Sp. z.o.o as it looks to expand its Polish network that comprises 380 branches and a further 190 retail outlets.
As a result of this acqui- sition, Fortuna will increase its stake in the Polish fixed-odds betting market up to one third and
further strengthen its posi- tion as the largest fixed- odds betting operator on the Polish market.
“If there will be no unex- pected complications, then nothing will prevent the conclusion of the takeover of Tipsport PL before the end of this September,” said Ji í Bunda, chief exec- utive officer of Fortuna Entertainment Group. “Our strategy is a combina- tion of branch network and
14 BettingBusinessInteractive • SEPTEMBER 2011
online betting. We are engaged in intensive prepa- rations to expand network retail outlets and strengthen our market position so that it will pos- itively impact on online betting in Poland.”
Fortuna recently announced a consolidated net profit for the first half of 2011 of 8.6m euro (£7.6m), a 19.1 per cent year on year increase. Key driver of the growth was
online betting in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Bunda commented: “In the first half of 2011 our earn- ings continued to grow, pri- marily supported by a strong performance of online sports betting. While our total volumes of accepted bets were impacted by a lack of attractive sports events, we managed to grow our busi- ness in all revenue parame- ters. Our excellent results
follow our chosen strategy of two main distribution channels, where retail shops serve not just as sales points but also provide online betting support.” The firm anticipates further growth in Poland where it is waiting for the Ministry of Finance of approve its licence to offer online betting in the country after the law per- mitting internet wagering came into force in July.
The French PMU has entered into a non-exclu- sive agreement with Lad- brokes Belgium that will allow Belgian punters to make pari-mutuel daily bets placed on French races in the Ladbrokes outlets, beginning in 2012. The deployment is part of the new legislative and fiscal framework intro- duced in Belgium, and will be effective after approval by the Belgian Gaming Commission and Horse Racing Authorities. In keeping with this new framework involving a fiscal effort by regional authorities and the PMU model based on support of local horse racing industries, a financial return will be organised for Belgian racecourses via the Belgian Racing Federation.
TOTEPOOL TURNOVER UP
Total Totepool turnover at the York Ebor meeting was up 7.2 per cent at £2,122,699 compared to £1,979,010 in 2010 after the meeting moved to a Satur- day for the first time. The biggest increase came on the Friday which was up 12.5 per cent at £445,424 compared to £381,673 in 2010 whilst Saturday’s turnover was down 6 per cent compared to the cor- responding meeting last year, which was run on a Wednesday. “Turnover on all Totepool products during York’s Ebor meeting has been solid with both the Wednesday and Friday of the meeting proving to be particularly popular with punters,” said Totepool spokesman George Primarolo.
ACTION IMAGES / ANDREW BOYERS LIVEPIC
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24
| Page 25
| Page 26
| Page 27
| Page 28
| Page 29
| Page 30
| Page 31
| Page 32
| Page 33
| Page 34
| Page 35
| Page 36
| Page 37
| Page 38
| Page 39
| Page 40
| Page 41
| Page 42
| Page 43
| Page 44
| Page 45
| Page 46
| Page 47
| Page 48