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RPGTV to feature Ladbrokes Golden Jacket and Shelbourne Gold Cup

George Miller

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RPGTV to feature Ladbrokes Golden Jacket and Shelbourne Gold Cup
Reading Time: 3 minutes

RPGTV will take it first step into daytime racing transmission with coverage of the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket following that up with evening coverage of the Shelbourne Gold Cup on Saturday 6th February.

The Ladbrokes Golden Jacket has been a Saturday morning staple at Crayford for over 30 years having first been staged at Harringay during the 1970s when it sporadically featured as a horse-racing substitute on ITV.

It is the most valuable off-course betting industry competition and, apart from a four-year flirtation with an evening final which ended in 2019, has had an iconic Saturday morning role since its inception.

As a result, RPGTV coverage has been restricted to the first round only in previous years but the whole competition will now be covered in its entirety on three consecutive Saturday mornings, February 6, 13 and 20. Trial stakes for the £17,500 Category One event begin over the 714m course this Saturday evening, live on RPGTV.

The Shelbourne Gold Cup, known as the Best Car Parks Gold Cup in 2021 for sponsorship purposes, was first staged in 1998 when won by the Denis Shanahan-trained Real Branch and quickly established itself as the leading early-year competition.

Run over the 525 yards course at Shelbourne Park, it is regarded as an ideal starting point for leading four-bend greyhounds and has been won by legendary names such as Paul Hennessy’s Late Late Show (2001) and the late Seamus Graham’s Mineola Farloe (2006). Hennessy is the competition’s leading trainer with seven victories, while Liam Dowling has won two of the last three renewals.

The 2017 staging was abandoned at the semi-final stage as the first high-profile victim of a dispute between the then Irish Greyhound Board and the Dublin Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association over the announcement of the closure of Harold’s Cross.

Kevan Moretti, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GTV commented: –

“RPGTV powers on with a set of top class racing in the first week of its new High-definition transmission platform being launched, and there are further announcements still to come.  Breaking into daytime racing coverage is another first and we look forward to our audience relishing RPGTV’s expanding schedule.

Following on from RPGTV’s coverage of the Irish Derby last year we are delighted to have racing back-on from Shelbourne Park featuring as a Saturday evening feature in the first week of our HD output.

Ger Dollard, CEO of Greyhound Racing Ireland, said:

“I’m delighted that the Best Car Parks Gold Cup from Shelbourne Park is the first Irish greyhound racing competition to be featured live on RPGTV in 2021. It promises to be an excellent night of racing and we are delighted to be delivering live competitive greyhound racing from Ireland.”

Ian Smyth, Director of Racing for Crayford’s owners, Entain Group, said:

“We’re delighted that the extension of RPGTV’s coverage means we’ve been able to retain the traditional Saturday morning slot for the Golden Jacket.

Current circumstances mean betting shops will be unable to provide coverage this year, but this announcement ensures that a great and long-standing event remains accessible to all.

The staying division has thrown up some fantastic racing in the last 12 months and we’re sure to see some stars at Crayford in the build-up over the next two Saturday evenings and the following Saturday morning when the main event kicks off.”

RPGTV executive producer Clive Lawrence said:

“Saturday morning action from Crayford and Romford is expected to become a firm favourite with not just our regular viewers but perhaps also some new ones captivated by the action in their living rooms at breakfast, or maybe brunch, time.

The show will also welcome increased viewer interaction with a new weekly competition being introduced, while the other main sporting action of the day will also be featured.

Of the Shelbourne coverage, Lawrence added: “Our ambition is to bring the best quality racing from both sides of the Irish Sea and the first big night for Irish racing in 2021 is the final of the Best Car Parks Gold Cup from Shelbourne Park. Covid regulations permitting, we will have a reporter onsite for interviews.”

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ComeOn Group partners up with Playtech to further strengthen their player experience

George Miller

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ComeOn Group partners up with Playtech to further strengthen their player experience
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Today, leading iGaming operator ComeOn Group, announced they are entering into a partnership with online gaming software supplier Playtech. This multi-year Casino and Live Casino software partnership will be launched across ComeOn Group’s extensive brand portfolio, including their flagship brands ComeOn!, Mobilebet, Sunmaker and Snabbare.

Playtech offers the latest innovation within Casino and Live Casino software, that will now be available to ComeOn Group’s extensive player base. In addition to the Playtech Casino suite, ComeOn has decided to launch Playtech’s premium Live Casino and table games portfolio giving their players an entertainment-led experience with the excitement of a real casino, with a wide variety of classic games and new games.

This partnership is a strategic move that shows that ComeOn Group continues to work hard to create the best product and brand experiences for its players.

Shimon Akad, Chief Operating Officer at Playtech, said “We are very proud that ComeOn Group has chosen to partner with Playtech. ComeOn is at the forefront of innovation and having the opportunity to work alongside them in multiple markets is hugely exciting for us. With a continued focus on growth in existing and newly regulated markets, Playtech’s core strategy is to offer long-term sustainability for operators and a safe, enjoyable environment for players. This new partnership with ComeOn is a great example of Playtech’s commitment to partnering with the right companies to bring an entertainment-led experience to international audiences across key regulated markets.”

Juergen Reutter, Chief Executive Officer at ComeOn Group, said “We are really excited about our new partnership with Playtech and the upside it will bring to our extensive portfolio of brands and markets. ComeOn Group is going through an exciting period and we have a strong position in the market where Playtech will play a key role moving forward. ComeOn Group will continue driving product innovation on its proprietary Casino platform and we believe that this new collaboration will take things up a notch. As a leading operator our mission is to take the player experience to the next level and we are confident that partnering with Playtech will do just that.”

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Holland Casino’s Gross Income Down 54% in 2020

Niji Narayan

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Holland Casino’s Gross Income Down 54% in 2020
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Holland Casino has reported a gross income of €333m for the full year 2020, a 54% decrease from the prior-year period.

The operator reported a loss before corporate tax of €80.7m, a 190% decline from 2019. Visitor numbers meanwhile were down 60% year-on-year to 2.5 million, largely due to government restrictions amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with the firm’s 14 branches closed for the majority of 2020.

Throughout the year, the venues were completely closed for 143 days, open with restrictions for 151 days, and open without restrictions for 71 days. Average spend per visit did, however, increase by 14% year-on-year to €133.

“Despite the constantly changing circumstances and major challenges that this crisis year caused, I firmly believe that we will get through it well,” Erwin van Lambaart, CEO of Holland Casino, said.

“This is due to the resilience of our people, general government support measures, focus on cost control and a clear strategic investment vision for the future. Together, this has meant that we were always able to anticipate the consequences of this crisis.”

Looking to the future, the operator commented: “Holland Casino is a cyclical company and will therefore suffer from the expected economic recession. Nevertheless, the company is optimistic about the future. The restructuring means that everyone is in the right place, the organization is more efficient and agile, and there is a future-proof new structure that guarantees continuity.”

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Sazka Creates Allywn to Unify Entire UK Operations

Niji Narayan

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Sazka Creates Allywn to Unify Entire UK Operations
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A new British corporate identity called Allywn has been created by Sazka Group to unify the group’s UK operations under a single brand.

Allywn has received the new transformational identity under the specialised agency which is based in London, North. This new brand identity would allow Sazka to take control over lottery brands across Europe.

Further Sazka is active in counties like the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy and Austria, where Allywn will incorporate Group’s activities.

Robert Chvátal, CEO of Sazka Group, said: “I’m extremely proud of our success across Europe and I’m hopeful of continuing this journey in the UK by supporting the creation of Allwyn for the UK market.”

“Since 2013, our track record has spoken for itself: huge sales growth, more people playing, billions back to governments for good causes, and a robust approach to player protection. Allwyn can bring the same sort of innovative thinking and success to the UK.”

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