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British Bookmakers Set to Make Record Contribution for Rights to Show Horse Racing

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British bookmakers are on track to make a record contribution to horse racing next year – with the bill for media rights forecast to increase by nearly £30m.

The Betting and Gaming Council’s five biggest members for horse race betting, Entain, Flutter, bet365, 888/William Hill and Betfred, expect to see a record cost increase to broadcast races.

In 2022, BGC members paid £270.1m for the rights to live stream races for customers and show them in bookmakers.

But that cost is forecast to rise to £285.3m this year, an increase of 5.6%, with members estimating a further increase to £315.2m in 2024, a further bump of 10.5%.

The combined increase for media rights costs is now expected to rise by 16.7% between 2022 and 2024.

The figures are based on data supplied by the Betting and Gaming Council’s five biggest members for horse race betting, then adjusted to include smaller operators, who must also pay for media rights.

Michael Dugher, CEO of Betting and Gaming Council, said: “BGC members are already making a record contribution to horse racing and these figures show that is only going to increase.

“This comes despite a reduction in betting turnover on racing in the last five years and a worrying decline in participation in horse race betting overall.

“Horse racing remains a hugely important, world-leading sport, enjoyed by millions of fans and like the betting industry it continues to support large numbers of jobs.

“I know racing is trying to modernise and reach out to new fans, while also trying to bounce back from the Covid pandemic and deal with some difficult economic headwinds, plus deal with the hit on its funding caused by the Government. The betting industry is dealing with many of the same pressures on our revenues and costs.

“The BGC and our members remain fully committed to working together with the leadership of the sport, including the BHA and others, to ensure a better future for racing. But the fact that we are making a record and growing contribution to the sport cannot be ignored.”

The forecast costs come after the BGC announced their members directly contributed £384m to British horse racing last year in levy, media rights and sponsorship deals.

These figures showed an increase on previous estimates for the regulated sector’s contribution, which had placed it at around £350m a year.

In addition, bookmakers spent £125m on marketing to promote racing and betting through advertisements and partnerships, which helps secure vital terrestrial coverage of the sport and raise revenue for print newspaper titles.

As well as the increased costs for media rights, levy payments are projected to be £99m in 2022/2023, according to the Horserace Betting Levy Board.

This record investment also enabled horse racing to use some of these revenues to deliver record prize money of £179.3m in 2022.

Horse racing is the second biggest sport in the UK, second only to football, with more than five million people attending around 1400 fixtures annually across 59 racecourses.

However, its popularity is in decline. In 2007, 17% of the population participated in horse race betting in the previous year, but that fell to 10% in 2018.

Meanwhile football overtook horse racing betting around the same time between 2017/2018.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has committed to reviewing the Horseracing Levy by next year.

The Horseracing Levy, which is administered by the Horserace Betting Levy Board, goes towards improving the sport, breeding and boosting veterinary care.

Betting operators are working closely with the British Horseracing Authority and racing stakeholders on much needed reforms to the fixture list and race programme which should increase commercial returns from the levy and media rights.

The regulated betting industry fully supports this once-in-a-generation opportunity to modernise horse racing so it can realise its full commercial potential.

The BGC is also working closely with the government on the proposed reforms from the White Paper to ensure those who enjoy betting can continue to do so without unnecessary intrusion, while introducing improved safeguards for the minority who struggle.

Betting shops currently support around 42,000 jobs, contribute £1bn a year in tax to the Treasury and another £60m in business rates to local councils.

The wider regulated betting and gaming industry contributes £7.1bn to the economy, generates £4.2bn in tax and supports 110,000 jobs.

In April DCMS unveiled the Government’s new White Paper on gambling reform, including a number of key measures the BGC had campaigned for.

Those included a new mandatory Ombudsman for the regulated sector, enhanced spending checks online and a new mandatory levy to fund research, education and treatment to tackle gambling related harm and problem gambling.

Each month in Great Britain around 22.5m adults have a bet and the most recent Health Survey for England estimated that 0.4% of the adult population are problem gamblers.

Meanwhile the unsafe, unregulated gambling black market online is growing in the UK, with the numbers betting on these sites doubling in recent years, and the amount staked in the billions.

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GGPoker Launches Exclusive WSOP Circuit UK Satellites Press Release

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GGPoker, the World’s Biggest Poker Room, is proud to launch exclusive online satellite tournaments to the upcoming WSOP Circuit UK £1,100 Main Event, which will be hosted at Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn Poker Club from March 15 through March 24.

The winner of the WSOP Circuit UK Main Event, which boasts a £500,000 guarantee, will claim a prestigious WSOP-C Gold Ring and the lion’s share of the massive prize pool.

Phased WSOP-C UK satellite tournaments are currently running at GGPoker, with buy-in to Centroll satellite tournaments set at £0.01, Phase 1 at £1,10, Phase 2 at £11 and the Final Phase at £110. At least five WSOP-C UK £1,100 Main Event tickets will be won in each Final Phase satellite.

Players that win £1,100 Main Event tickets will be registered into the exclusive OnLive Day 1 hosted by GGPoker on March 19, with all Day 1 survivors making it through to the live Day 2 on March 24.

“We’re delighted to partner once more with World Series of Poker and Dusk Till Dawn, with UK and Irish players promised a super event in Nottingham next month,” said Angela Martin, UK & Ireland Head of Marketing at GGPoker. “Players can win their way to the WSOP-C £1,100 Main Event for just a single penny and take aim at a guaranteed £500,000 and WSOP Gold Ring!”

New GGPoker players can also claim the poker room’s Welcome Bonus, earn even more rewards with the Honeymoon for Newcomers promotion and automatically join GGPoker’s Fish Buffet loyalty program, with regular cash prizes on offer.

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PAGCOR SEEKS GCG APPROVAL TO IMPLEMENT SALARY STEP INCREMENT

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The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation said it has asked the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) for approval of salary step increments based on employees’ length of service to correct distortions caused by its new Compensation and Position Classification System (CPCS).

In a letter to GCG Chairperson Atty. Marius Corpus dated February 22, 2024, PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco said the PAGCOR Board of Directors has approved the implementation of step increments but it needs GCG approval.

“Parallel to the thrust of the PAGCOR Board of Directors to prioritize the welfare of the employees, the PAGCOR Board approved the Implementation of Step Increment based on Length of Service, subject to GCG’s review and approval,” he said in the letter.

The PAGCOR chief said the step increment is only the first of many appeals that the agency plans to lodge with the GCG so that PAGCOR employees may enjoy competitive salaries and benefits comparable to other revenue-generating GOCCs.

PAGCOR received its Authority to Implement the CPCS on January 31 this year. However, majority of the employees were dismayed to see that their take-home pay decreased when they received their salaries on the first payday under CPCS on February 15, 2024.

The CPCS also caused distortions in pay scale since all employees were reverted to Pay Step 1 regardless of their years of service. This means that a new employee in a certain position gets the same salary as someone who has been in the same position for 15 years or more.

Chairman Tengco said the Step Increment appeal is only the first of many which the agency plans to lodge with the GCG to remedy the overall decrease in employees’ take home pay, especially for those who occupy the lowest rungs in the organization.

“We hope that the GCG will positively respond to our appeal so that all tenured PAGCOR employees will not feel shortchanged, and instead receive the compensation that they deserve under the bounds of the law,” he added.

A provision under the CPCS implementing guidelines states that “one step increment shall be granted to qualified personnel for every three years of continuous satisfactory service in the present position.”

Records show that as of December 31, 2023, a total of 7,057 PAGCOR personnel or 72.60% of the agency’s workforce have been in service for more than three years in their respective positions.

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ClearStake secures seven-figure funding round to drive further growth

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ClearStake, a leading solution for smart financial data requests, has completed a seven-figure funding round that will allow the company to scale its business and further its mission to reduce the number of players lost by operators when asked to share financial information, a huge problem for the gambling industry.

The technology solution, built on Open Banking and designed specifically for the gambling sector, helps operators lower the costs of compliance by doing in minutes what can take hours and increases the number of players who opt-in to share their data to become eligible for approval. Early adopters have already reported up to a 6x increase in player retention when data is required.

ClearStake is already backed by industry stalwarts and its latest round has attracted more investors, including former and current senior executives from major brands such as Flutter, Paddy Power, PointsBet, Stats Perform and EML Payments.

Affordability and AML checks are a focus in numerous jurisdictions and the ClearStake platform is a simple, easy-to-implement solution that makes these checks fast and easy for players. Demand for a tool like ClearStake has never been greater, as both mid-sized and larger operators look to make checks as frictionless as possible.

The technology has proven to deliver results and the company is now preparing for a significant period of growth, with further product development in the pipeline. ClearStake also now has its sights on international opportunities, as it continues to establish itself as the go-to provider for financial data requests for the gambling industry.

Martin Burt, CEO at ClearStake, said: “We are delighted to have secured additional funding for our journey, which will enable us to deliver our solution to a greater number of operators.

“We are lucky to have an investor group consisting of prominent industry experts who understand the potential of our technology globally and are on board with our vision of solving the challenge of requesting financial data from players.”

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