Go Racing to air British race tracks

Dec 19, 2000 6:33 AM

LONDON ”” Consortium Go Racing effectively crossed the finish line in its bid for a lucrative 10-year contract for British horse racing media rights when the racecourse body chose it as the preferred bidder.

The rights package offers what is seen as a sure-fire winner for making money out of interactive TV, and the deal, worth more than 400 million pounds ($570 million), will bring home large winnings to Britain’s 59 racetracks.

Go Racing — which includes track owner Arena Leisure, Channel Four Television and satellite TV group British Sky Broadcasting — beat rival Carlton Communications Plc when Britain’s Racecourse Association (RCA) said it would advise its members to sit down in exclusive talks.

"It has been very difficult to pick between two excellent bidders and potential partners. Ultimately the more certain broadcasting coverage that Go Racing could offer was the deciding factor," RCA Chair Angus Crichton-Miller said.

The decision effectively ends a year-long scramble for the rights to TV, internet and interactive coverage of the races.

The racecourses must make the final decision by Dec. 15, but a spokesman said Go Racing considered it largely a "done deal." Comparable to soccer, with its mixture of wagers and sporting tradition, racing attracts avid viewers ready to spend money. Stakes will be raised once broadband access and interactive TV allow viewers to watch and bet through their own TV sets.

Go Racing plans to launch an online betting website, a dedicated TV station, and is considering a 24-hour channel. Channel 4 would launch a new lunchtime racing program.

Arena controls 20 percent of the UK’s racing fixtures and has a joint venture with U.S. betting equipment firm Autotote Corp. (TTE). Channel 4 already has highly regarded racing coverage. Britain’s largest cable group, NTL, said it would join Go Racing if the bid succeeds.

Horse races are broadcast on terrestrial television through Channel Four and the BBC. Go Racing has agreed to terms for the BBC to continue to broadcast certain races if its bid succeeds.

(Copyright Reuters 2000

Venetian says ”˜Bravo!’ to honorees

The Venetian recently honored staff members with its inaugural "Bravo! Team Member of the Year Awards." The awards went to the resort’s most dedicated and enthusiastic employees. Three of the six honorees were rewarded with expenses-paid trips to Venice, Italy. Each of the six divisional Bravo Team Members of the Year were awarded with paid vacations to California.

The three that also received trips to Italy were named "Overall Team Members" and one Supervisor of the Year. The final Bravo winners were selected from nomination forms completed throughout the year by colleagues and supervisors. From the finalists, two were chosen as Team Members of the Year, based on a presentation by their respective managers. The honorees are:

Jose Moreno
Eva Risiglione
Valerie Sneidman
Michael Jones
John Sarantapia
Doreen Haneke

CMA Associate

Carmalen Gillilan has been in the gaming industry for more than 10 years, starting with Anchor Gaming as the Special Projects Administrator, then with Circus Circus Enterprises’ development team, where she was responsible for the acquisition, contract negotiation and build-out.

Carmalen joined the Navegante Group in early 2000 as the Manager of Development. She is responsible for researching and evaluating development projects, as well as preparing RFPs, RFQs, contract negotiations, design & construction of new projects.

WMS sales at 3,000

"High customer acceptance" is the reason being offered by WMS Gaming, a subsidiary of WMS Industries Inc. (WMS), as to why the orders for new gaming devices have been climbing off the chart.

"We just received a sales order representing the 3,000th gaming machine for placement in California," said Brian R. Gamache, president and COO of the company. "We continue to outpace our internal sales goal of 4,000 units for fiscal 2001, which ends on June 30, 2001."

In addition to the other machines, WMS Gaming also expects to have over 300 MONOPOLY-themed and JUMBLE-themed participation games installed in California by Dec. 31.

He added that, "Since May, we have placed over 3,100 games in California, either through sales or participation, and have sales orders for over 500 more games. Given this data, we feel quite confident that we will achieve our fiscal 2001 forecast of about 25 percent market share in California."

MGM’s Lanni to be honored at Gaming Summit

Next month’s American Gaming Summit will honor MGM MIRAGE Executive Chairman J. Terrence Lanni with a Lifetime Achievement Award during a special keynote dinner on Jan. 11.

The summit will also feature powerful keynote speakers including Henry Gluck, co-chairman Transcontinental Properties; and Edward P. Roski, Jr., owner of the Silverton Hotel and Casino, and co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings.

Slated as keynote speaker for the opening session of the conference on January 11 is Gluck, former chairman and CEO of Caesars World, where he is credited with overseeing the financial turnaround of the casino company during his 12-year tenure.

Gluck’s major accomplishments include the successful introduction of high-end retail in a casino environment with the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, and the negotiation of the $2 billion sale of Caesars World to ITT at a substantial premium for stockholders.

If Gluck represents the "old school" in Las Vegas, Ed Roski is a relatively new face in the city. A multifaceted entrepreneur and CEO of one of the oldest and largest privately-held real estate companies in the United States, Majestic Realty, to co-owner of two significant teams in the national sports market, and owner of a Las Vegas casino, Roski has plenty of insight to offer to summit attendees at the keynote luncheon on Thursday, January 11.

"We’re pleased to welcome Mr. Gluck and Mr. Roski as speakers at the American Gaming Summit," said Harvey Whittemore, chairman of the Summit and partner with the law firm of Lionel Sawyer & Collins. "They each have a special vision that guarantees that Las Vegas will grow well into the future."

The American Gaming Summit is seen as a "must attend" event for top-level gaming executives. It features one-on-one with public officials, key institutional investors, attorneys, Native American entrepreneurs and businesses that offer products and services to the gaming industry.

Established in 1994, the American Gaming Summit has grown in size and stature. It annually draws more than 1,000 national and international attendees, and features the gaming industry’s key figures.