Betting Odds & Ends - August

25 July 2007

BHA Takes its First Breaths

All four British Horseracing Board (BHB) shareholders on Friday signed onto the formal creation of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the new governance and regulatory body due to come into effect on July 31. The quartet was nearly the last obstacle standing in the way of the official hand-off. The group now awaits final approval from the pension regulator. The BHA has been operating for over two months in all but name and board existence under the guidance of chairman Paul Roy and chief executive Nic Coward.

Paddy Looks to Unseat Budweiser as Sponsor of Irish Derby

Irish Bookmaker Paddy Power is among the companies in the running to replace Budweiser as the major sponsor of the Irish Derby at the Curragh. Paddy’s attempts at sponsorship come due to the notion that the Irish Derby is one of the most high-profile events on the racing calendar, and the fact that rival bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes are becoming increasingly involved in the racing world. The Irish Derby, held annually on July 1, has been sponsored by Budweiser since 1986.

Neuman Steps Down as CEO of Magna Entertainment

After only four months of employment, Michael Neuman is stepping down as CEO of North American racetrack owner and operator Magna Entertainment Corp, taking with him a $1 million bonus. Neuman had been a source of optimism for Magna shareholders, who were counting on him to revive the company through an expansion of its electronic betting and online gambling businesses. Company president Frank Stronach will serve as Interim CEO.

ATG to Sue Unibet

Swedish horse-betting monopolist ATG will reportedly sue Unibet for alleged theft of the company's horse-racing database. Swedish media reports say that ATG will argue that Unibet's online betting service would suffer without the help of ATG's proprietary database, which Unibet has allegedly "misused" since 2000. As part of the suit, ATG will seek £17.6 million ($35.2 million) in compensation.

Scientific Games Partners with Great Canadian Gaming

Scientific Games has inked a deal with the Great Canadian Gaming (GCG) to run its pari-mutuel wagering systems. The agreement also sees Scientific Games supply racing terminals and its Quantum wager-processing system to GCG-operated racetracks in British Columbia and Ontario.

Gtech Acquires Finsoft

Lottomatica subsidiary Gtech has acquired Finsoft, the London-based sports-betting management solutions provider. "The addition of Finsoft allows us to deliver a complete, integrated sports-betting solution to our customers and prospects," said Lottomatica CEO W. Bruce Turner.

Betfair to Sponsor England's RFU

Betfair has inked a two-year sponsorship deal with England's Rugby Football Union (RFU), whereby Betfair will become the RFU's official betting partner.