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World Pool turnover on UK and Irish racing hits HK$4.7 billion (£475 million)

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Turnover on World Pool bet types on British Champions Day totalled HK$202.7 million (£21.4 million), bringing the figure for all races commingled during the 19 World Pool days in the UK and Ireland to HK$4.7 billion (£475 million). 

King George Day at Ascot saw the biggest jump in turnover, rising from HK$253m to a new record of HK$287m, an increase of over 13%, while 2,000 Guineas Day as well as days one and three of Royal Ascot also posted year-on-year increases. 

The overall total is only marginally down on 2022’s figure of HK$4.9bn, but still significantly up on 2021 (HK3.9 billion). 

Prize money won across the 131 World Pool races in the UK and Ireland this year has hit a record high of £32 million, while the World Pool Moment of the Day initiative has seen £68,000 given out – £4,000 for each of the 17 World Pool Moment of the Day winners.  

Ebbe Verhestraeten, groom of Big Rock, was awarded Moment of the Day on Saturday and he will have a chance of winning a VIP trip for four to Hong Kong next year if he is to win World Pool Moment of the Year.   

Outside of the UK and Ireland, World Pool meetings in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Australia have all posted record turnover numbers, while World Pool will be active for two further meetings in Australia: Cox Plate Day and Victoria Derby Day. 

Earlier on Saturday, the Caulfield Cup broke the record for the highest turnover on a World Pool race in Australia with HK$54.24 million (AUD$10.98 million) bet into the pool, eclipsing the HKD$51.54 million (AUD$10.43 million) bet on the previous weekend’s Everest. Only two World Pool races this year – the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes and the Dubai World Cup – have had bigger pools.  

In the UK and Ireland, World Pool is accessed via the Tote, at racecourses, online and via the Tote App. All customers betting directly with the Tote benefit from Tote Guarantee which ensures all Win bets will always exceed or match the industry Starting Price.

 

Tote value for UK and Irish customers betting into World Pool on British Champions Day:

·        Tote Win beat the Industry Starting Price in 5 out of the 6 races and matched on the remaining occasions

·        Tote Win overround was 112% versus an industry Starting Price of 120%

·        Tote Exacta beat Forecast in 6 out of the 6 races

·        Tote Trifecta beat Tricast in 5 out of the 6 races

 

Tote value for customers betting on the 19 British and Irish World Pool days 2023:

·        Tote Win beat the Industry Starting Price in 66% of races and matched on the remaining occasions

·        A £1 bet with the Tote on every winner on British and Irish World Pool days in 2023 paid £263 more than the industry Starting Price

·        Tote Win overround was 109% versus an industry Starting Price of 122%

·        Tote Exacta beat Forecast in 78% of races

·        Tote Trifecta beat Tricast in 84% of races races where the Tricast operated

 

Michael Fitzsimons, Executive Director, Wagering Products of the HKJC, said: “We are really pleased with how World Pool has been received in the UK and Ireland again this year and the turnover figures look strong against a challenging economic backdrop. 

“There are many more opportunities for growth in the UK and Ireland and we look forward to being able to roll out World Pool at even more of the season’s flagship race days. Having the Lockinge, the Irish Derby and the Sun Chariot as World Pool events for the first time this year worked really well, and we look forward to adding more days in the future.  

“We’d like to thank all of our partners, including the UK Tote, Racecourse Media Group and Ascot Racecourse – who have all been with us since World Pool was first created in 2019 – for all their hard work in making it another highly successful season.” 

Alex Frost, Chief Executive of the UK Tote, said: “We are delighted that British and Irish racing has enjoyed such a successful World Pool season in 2023. It is incredibly positive to see revenues from World Pool supporting racecourses’ investment in prize money which was at a new record of £32 million for World Pool races this year. This highlights the increasingly important role pool betting is playing the in the future sustainability of the sport.  

“Following our new five-year agreement with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, making the UK Tote the exclusive partner for World Pool in the UK and Ireland, we look forward to collaborating on exciting developments, including new bet types and further improvements to the customer experience for the 2024 season.”  

Martin Stevenson, Chief Executive Officer of Racecourse Media Group (RMG), which represents the media interests of The Jockey Club, Newbury, Goodwood, York, The Curragh and Leopardstown racecourses, said: “World Pool has been a hugely important initiative for British and Irish racing to grow revenues and prize money, and it’s been great to see such strong performance again in 2023. 

“We’ve added three new race days to the calendar this year with the Lockinge, Irish Derby and Sun Chariot, and hopefully we’ll be able to add some more in 2024. 

“It’s been a pleasure working with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, UK Tote and all of our racecourses on World Pool this season and we are already looking forward to 2024.”  

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Gaming Innovation Group – Mandatory notification of trade

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Gaming Innovation Group – Minutes from Annual Meeting of Shareholders
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Mikael Riese Harstad, Chairman of the Board and primary insider of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.

(GiG), has today transferred 864,403 shares in GiG to a life insurance policy with SEB Life International Assurance Company DAC with himself as the sole policy holder.

In addition, Helena Riese Harstad, a close associate of Mikael Riese Harstad, has today transferred 477,733 shares in GiG to a life insurance policy with SEB Life International Assurance Company DAC with herself as the sole policy holder.

After these transactions, Harstad and close associates owns no shares directly, but hold 1,342,136 shares through life insurance policies with SEB Life International Assurance Company DAC.

For further information, contact:
Tore Formo, Group CFO, [email protected] +47 916 68 678

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to Section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.

 

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Industry News

Clarion Gaming and ExCeL London plan for the migration of iGB L!VE 2025 to the heart of igaming

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Clarion Gaming is advancing preparations for the migration of iGB L!VE to London in July 2025 establishing a roadmap of activities in partnership with the senior team at ExCeL London which will host the leading global event.

The latest meeting between the two organisations featured:

  • iGB L!VE Portfolio Director Naomi Barton,
  • Clarion Gaming Managing Director Stuart Hunter,
  • Head of Operations Richard Logan and
  • Head of Marketing Jody Frost with the senior team from ExCeL led by the venue’s
  • Chief Commercial Officer Simon Mills.

Expanding on the meeting Naomi Barton said: “This was the second senior level planning meeting that we have held with our colleagues at ExCeL London in order to move the home of the igaming community to a city which is the heart of the igaming industry in a country which is igaming’s largest market.

“The roadmap is being created in order to anticipate industry needs, address pain points and to exceed the expectations of customers. The migration of what is already a top performing Tier One igaming event is set against the backdrop of iGB L!VE’s 5-year growth plan which is focused on delivering 35,000 visitors and over 550 exhibitors and sponsors by 2029.

“Our vision is to harness the tremendous momentum created by the iGB L!VE brand and to take the event to a whole new level in a new venue, and a new exceptionally well-connected global home in the city of London.

“ExCeL London has a fantastic track record of helping events to fulfil their potential, and all of the building blocks are in place for iGB L!VE and its customers to accelerate their businesses to new heights in London.

She added: “Placing our customers at the heart of everything that we do is central plank to the iGB L!VE growth strategy, and the roadmap for 2025 is underpinned by a clear customer-focused programme that will ensure maximum cost-effectiveness as well as global growth for all of our stakeholders.

“We will be using July’s edition of iGB L!VE not only to reflect and celebrate our time in Amsterdam and say thank you to our fantastic partners for many years RAI Amsterdam, but also enable our vendors and customers to secure their presence at ExCeL London in 2025.”

 

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Paf’s results for 2023

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The Nordic gaming company Paf’s annual report for 2023 shows that it has been a good year which means a good sum of Paf funds for society. Paf’s published customer segments show more sustainable revenue in the past year. The Paf board gets a new member.

The Paf Group’s revenue for 2023 increased from €165.7 million to €177.1 million, an increase of 7%. The growth in revenue results in an increase in profit from €44.8 million to €55.1 million, which is a record for Paf.

“We can be happy and proud with the past year. We have gained a larger customer base and the number of active customers has increased by 27%, which explains some of it, but we are also well aware that the temporarily low gaming taxes in Finland have helped the result,” says Christer Fahlstedt, CEO.

Paf’s result is the best result in Paf’s 57-year history and an increase of 23% compared to the previous year. However, gaming taxes in a number of countries will be increased in 2024, which will create different conditions going forward. In Finland, the temporary reduction of the lottery tax has increased from 5% to 12%, in Sweden the gambling tax will increase from 18% to 22%, in Estonia from 5% to 6% and in Latvia from 10% to 12%.

“The trend of increasing gaming taxes will continue, and we expect to see more much-needed demands for increased responsible gaming measures. The changes will result in reduced profitability and many operators will find it more difficult. But Paf is well prepared for the times ahead,” says Christer Fahlstedt.

31.4 million euros in Paf funds
The annual distribution of Paf funds will be €31.4 million. Paf funds are used for the benefit of society, including a number of third sector organisations that work to promote society in social activities, culture, youth work, sports, environmental activities and more.

“It’s undeniably great that Paf is achieving a great result, allowing us to distribute a total of €31.4 million in the form of Paf funds. The employees have done a phenomenal job over the past year, and the Board would like to thank all Paf employees who have made this possible,” says Jan-Mikael von Schantz, Chairman of the Paf Board.

Sustainable entertainment
In 2023, Paf chose to invest heavily in responsible gaming, and the loss limit for all customers was lowered to EUR 17,500 per year. In addition, in spring 2023, Paf introduced a specific loss limit for young players aged 18–19, €1,800 per year. In spring 2024, Paf chose to lower the loss limit for young people aged 20–24. Young people of that age already had a lower loss limit at Paf but it was further reduced from €10,000 to €8,000 per year.

“This is an important continuation of the direction we are striving to take at Paf for our responsible gaming. Now young customers can only gamble with us for sums that are at more sustainable levels and within the framework of the customer segment we have defined ourselves as the green segment,” says Christer Fahlstedt.

Paf’s customer segments 2017–2023
The published table shows the development of gaming in different customer segments from 2017 until 2023. The red segment for customers who have lost more than €30,000 in one year is at zero in recent years, as Paf’s loss limits stop large losses. The white segment shows the number of players who ended the year in profit.

“It is encouraging to see that we have once again increased the green revenues with more sustainable revenues by a full 7.6%. It is possible to change an outdated business model in the industry and we will continue our strive to be a gaming company that provides sustainable entertainment in everyday life,” says Christer Fahlstedt.

The figures for Paf’s customer segments have been reviewed by auditors as part of the audit of the financial statements.

“Our published and open customer segments show what our investments in responsible gaming measures have achieved over the years. The publication gives credibility to our efforts at a level that no other gaming company has been able to show,” says Christer Fahlstedt.

Daniela Forsgård new on the board
Paf gets a new board member when Daniela Forsgård takes a seat on the board. At the same time, Birgitta Eriksson is stepping down after many years on Paf’s board.

“I really want to thank Birgitta for the solid contribution she has made to Paf’s Board over the years.”

“Daniela Forsgård’s merit-based knowledge of finance, combined with the international experience she possesses, will fit in well with the Board. In addition, Daniela has personal experience of Paf as she previously worked at Paf,” says Jan-Mikael von Schantz.

The Paf Board now consists of Chairman Jan-Mikael von Schantz, Board members Gunnar Westerlund, Denise Johansson, Roger Nordlund and Daniela Forsgård.

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