International simulcasting gets OK

July 03, 2001 5:45 AM
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England’s Go Racing Interactive horse racing website can become a reality now that Arena Leisure Plc. has successfully negotiated an agreement with the British Horseracing Board that allows the Go Racing Consortium to access pre-race data needed for the production.

The Corsortium includes Arena, British Sky Broadcasting and Channel 4 and it also has a development relationship with Scientific Games Corporation (SGM) whose Internet horseracing platform, Trackplay, will be used in the project.

SGM and Arena began the joint venture partnership in order to develop Trackplay. The platform will be used to collect the data necessary to present horse race betting to jurisdictions around the world. SGM was formally known as Autotote Inc. and is one of the world’s largest totalizator companies providing wagering software and hardware to a majority of the racetracks in the U.S.

The Go Racing Consortium has secured the exclusive picture and audio rights to 49 of the 59 racecourses in the United Kingdom, including the best known Ascot, Goodwood, Aintree, Newmarket and Royal Windsor.

According to Lorne Weil, chairman and CEO of Scientific Games Corporation, the partnership with Arena provides the company with an opportunity of expanding its revenues.

“When the site becomes operational in the fall,” Weil said, “we will receive a portion of all pari-mutuel wagering handled through the Go Racing System. So far, 49 British racecourses representing 90 percent of the nation’s $9 billion handle have agreed to participate in the deal. Given the popularity of horseracing in Britain and its technological sophistication, we expect the site and subsequent interactive television and simulcast arrangements to be very popular.”