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Live horse racing data giants agree landmark merger

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Total Performance Data and tripleSdata have come together to create the world’s largest automated distributor of live horse racing performance data to racecourses, stakeholders, bookmakers, media and racing fans.

Under the terms of the deal, TPD and tSd will become a merged entity. The merger will result in the combined company supplying live and post-race performance data from over 100 racetracks in 11 different countries, 365 days a year.  Amongst the 5000+ race days tracked will be many of racing’s most valuable and notable races including the $150 million of prize money at The Breeders’ Cup, The Saudi Cup, The Dubai World Cup, The Everest, The Melbourne Cup, Royal Ascot, The Pegasus, St Leger, The US Triple Crown and much more.

Racing fans will be able to access the live and post-race tracking data to contextualise the performances of the world’s leading thoroughbreds. Additionally, TPD’s unique automated in-play odds can be made available for all racecourses across the world providing fans the ability to bet on these prestigious events after the off.

Crucial to TPD’s success has been the long-term vision to create new revenue streams for racecourses. With over £50 million now bet on their in-play odds, this is now a reality. Entain, Sky Bet, William Hill, Bet Victor and Boylesports all leverage the fully automated and neural network inspired live odds.

tSd’s founders Carlos Santo and Sebastian Scholz will join TPD’s Board and assist with day-to-day management of a team of over 40 people globally. With offices in London and Sydney, Brad Higgins will drive APAC sales, while John McBroom will lead the global sales effort. More talent is set to be added to existing teams of engineers, data scientists, machine learning and AI experts and a new sensor fusion division specialising in computer vision to further enhance the next generation of racing insights.

Will Duff Gordon, CEO of TPD, commented: “We are extremely pleased to welcome the passionate and determined tripleSdata team to create a global champion of racehorse tracking and revenue generation. We are aware that today’s consolidated bookmakers seek the maximum amount of product from each partner, and we’re pleased to add three more countries of top class racing to the existing eight.

“The scale of the combined company unlocks the level of investment and expertise that racing needs to tell its story through advanced data. The effort to bring live racing from 12 time zones across 11 countries on five continents for 24/7 live action is testament to the partnerships built by TPD and tSd with the likes of Arena Racing Company, Equibase, Sky Sports Racing, At The Races, Emirates Racing Authority, Ascot, Australian Turf Club, Racing New South Wales, Racing Queensland, Racing Victoria, Racing South Australia, Singapore and Auckland Thoroughbred Racing.

“As with all industries and sports, the sport of horse racing is having to compete hard for attention. TPD and its racecourse partners share a vision that the tracking content can make the sport more appealing, and in the process make betting more fun. With multiple updates per second on speed, position and stride the goal remains to lift the lid on how horses run in order to engage a new generation of data hungry sports fans. We are confident this deal goes a long way to achieving that goal.”

Carlos Santo, CEO of tSd commented: “This merger brings together two visionary companies dedicated to pushing the boundaries of possibilities through technology and poised to unlock new opportunities and expand our product offerings.

“This marks the beginning of an exciting journey. Together, we will continue to innovate, adapt, and thrive in an ever-evolving landscape, delivering unmatched data solutions and experiences to our customers and stakeholders in the racing and wagering industries.”

Sebastian Scholz, CTO of tSd commented: “We are thrilled about this landmark merger and eagerly anticipate the incorporation of the two development teams from Total Performance Data and tripleSdata.

“This merger is not just a joining of forces; it’s a catalyst for ground-breaking product development.  We are poised for significant growth, aiming to expand our teams in the realms of artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud-based applications, equine welfare, sensor fusion, computer vision, in-play betting, and graphics applications.”

TPD Chairman, Eamonn Wilmott, commented: “In over 40 years of doing M&A deals, I have to say this was one of the most obvious fits I’ve ever seen.

“Carlos and Sebastian have built an amazing company, and we are delighted to join forces together. They care passionately about the future of racing, and we will all work together to help drive maximum revenues back into the sport. From the very first conversations through negotiations and due diligence they have been an absolute pleasure to work with and we are all extremely excited about the future we can now build together.”

Australia

Aristocrat Appoints Matthew Primmer as Chief Product Officer

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Aristocrat Leisure Ltd announced the appointment of Mr Matthew (Matt) Primmer to the position of Chief Product Officer, reporting directly to Aristocrat CEO & Managing Director Trevor Croker. Mr Primmer’s appointment is effective immediately. He will join Aristocrat’s Executive Steering Committee, and remain based at the company’s offices in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mr Primmer comes to the role with over 20 years’ experience in the global gaming industry, including ten years at Aristocrat in a range of senior product strategy, insights and leadership roles in Australia and the US. Mr Primmer has been Chief Product Officer at Aristocrat Gaming for four years, leading Design & Development (D&D) in Aristocrat’s largest operating business, with casino game content and hardware comprising its most strategically important portfolios. Mr Primmer previously held marketing and sales roles at Ainsworth Game Technology and Shuffle Master. Mr Primmer holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Wollongong.

“I am delighted to elevate a global gaming executive of Matt’s calibre to our leadership team. Over the past decade, Matt has made a strong contribution to building and extending Aristocrat Gaming’s global product leadership, fostering our outstanding creative and technical talent, championing D&D and placing customer needs at the centre of our product strategy,” Mr Croker said.

“Matt’s appointment brings additional, proven gaming experience to the executive team. In his new role, Matt will help us maintain an enterprise view of product strategy as our business grows to encompass a broader range of product verticals, while also ensuring the most effective allocation of D&D investment” Croker added.

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Australia

Victoria Racing Club, Tabcorp and Nine Enter Landmark Deal for Melbourne Cup Carnival

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The Victoria Racing Club (VRC), Tabcorp and Nine Entertainment (Nine) announced a groundbreaking broadcast, media and sponsorship deal for the world-famous Melbourne Cup Carnival from 2024 to 2029.

The landmark agreement will see the VRC and Tabcorp enter a game-changing partnership combining enhanced year-round sponsorship, and domestic and international media rights for the Carnival.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival will be broadcast on all SKY platforms and the TAB app, with Tabcorp having the right to on-sell the coverage to wagering providers.

Nine will be the free to air partner of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, including audio-visual rights for broadcast, streaming, mobile, digital and social platforms. Tabcorp will be the exclusive wagering integration partner for Nine’s broadcast of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

The new rights package means that Nine will be the broadcast home of Penfolds Derby Day, Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, VRC Oaks Day and TAB Champions Stakes Day. All four days of the Carnival – one of the nation’s most significant cultural events – will be broadcast live and free in high-definition on Channel 9 and streamed on 9Now.

The partnership allows the VRC to invest strategically for the long term in the key areas of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, member engagement, the year-round racing programme, Flemington Racecourse tracks and facilities and the broader community. It will also bring significant new investment to the racing industry which will support and fund innovations on and off the track, create new jobs and further enhance equine welfare initiatives.

The agreement represents a partnership encompassing broadcast, content, partnership rights and race naming rights. This partnership will create significant exposure for the brands and their partners as it brings together the biggest names in sport.

VRC Chairman Neil Wilson said that this was an important strategic announcement for the industry, Tabcorp, Nine and the VRC.

“The VRC is delighted to extend and enhance its long-term partnership with Tabcorp. As Australia’s first major event, the Melbourne Cup Carnival will sit very appropriately in the calendar of Nine’s Wide World of Sport major event coverage,” Mr Wilson said.

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is Australia’s pre-eminent racing event, and the partnership continues the VRC’s unwavering commitment to showcasing the very best the sport of racing has to offer and attracting new fans to the sport.

“The iconic nature of the event was highlighted by a successful 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival, with more than 262,000 racing fans at Flemington and millions more engaging with the Lexus Melbourne Cup at home and abroad.

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of Australia’s most culturally and economically important major events, and it is right here in Melbourne – considered by many as the sporting capital of the world.

“As its custodians, the VRC places significant emphasis on protecting the history and tradition of Cup Week, which is loved by so many Australians, while innovating for the future and investing in our club and the major event that is the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“This landmark partnership is not only good for Melbourne and Victorian racing, but it also guarantees our sport has primacy across multiple platforms and channels.

“The partnership will enhance the community engagement and economic contribution that followed the 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival, which saw more than $500,000 raised for different charity groups, an estimated 16,000 jobs generated and the delivery of thousands of visitors to Victoria from interstate and international locations, highlighting the broader impact of the event,” Mr Wilson said.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival delivered $422.1 million in economic benefit to Victoria in 2022, making it the largest economic contributor to the state of any major annual sporting event in the past decade, with early modelling suggesting the 2023 economic impact will be even greater than 2022.

In 2022, one in two adult Australians engaged with Lexus Melbourne Cup Day in some way and in 2023, the race itself was broadcast to 209 countries and territories with a potential global reach of 750 million people.

A key component of the partnership will see the VRC take the reins on managing the production for racing coverage through VRC Media, working closely with Tabcorp and Nine to elevate the way racing is broadcast across the globe.

VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said the partnership underlined the club’s strategic commitment to being a world leader in racing, media, sponsorship and event experience.

“The partnership with Tabcorp and the arrangements with Nine have been developed by our close strategic alignment and a desire to grow and innovate in our industry,” Mr Rosich said.

“We are thrilled that in 2024 the Melbourne Cup Carnival will join the Nine big event stable alongside the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Australian Open and State of Origin.

“Nine’s capability to showcase coverage of Melbourne Cup Carnival racing and events across the depth of their leading broadcast and streaming assets make for a compelling partnership outcome.”

Mr Rosich also thanked previous Melbourne Cup Carnival broadcast partner Network 10.

“The VRC acknowledges and thanks Network 10 for bringing together exceptional coverage of the Melbourne Cup Carnival since 2019. In partnership with Network 10 the VRC has expanded the range and reach of Cup Week across domestic and international audiences, and we were delighted to finish the partnership on a high, with increased viewership on Network 10 and 10 Play.”

Tabcorp CEO Adam Rytenskild said: “Tabcorp’s partnership with the VRC and Nine is the most innovative in Australian sport and we can’t wait to bring our entire digital, broadcast and retail ecosystem together to grow and promote the Melbourne Cup Carnival together.

“This partnership builds on Tabcorp winning the 20-year Victorian exclusive wagering licence and will be a key pillar of our growth strategy. Together with our Brand and Customer transformation, this partnership gives us a terrific platform to grow in Victoria, throughout Australia and around the world as we beam the Cup to more than 60 different countries through Sky Racing.”

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Australia

PointsBet Appoints Daniel Lucas as Group Chief Technology Officer

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PointsBet Holdings Limited announced the appointment of Daniel Lucas as Group Chief Technology Officer (CTO), effective 1 September 2024. Daniel will replace current Group CTO, US-based Jerry Bowskill, who will step down following completion of the sale of the US Business to Fanatics Betting and Gaming.

Daniel is serving out his current role as Global Director of Trading Technology at Flutter Entertainment Plc, leading the global trading technology operation and service across the Flutter Group (including Fanduel, Sportsbet, Paddypower, Betfair, Pokerstars and Skybet). Currently based in the UK, Daniel will relocate to Melbourne to take up his new role.

Prior to his global role at Flutter, Daniel held several senior positions at Sportsbet based in Melbourne, including Head of Data Solutions and Head of Trading Technology, which followed roles in the investment banking sector in London.

Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) and a Master of Business Systems from Monash University.

Sam Swanell, Chief Executive Officer of the PointsBet Group, said: “We are very pleased that a Senior Executive of Dan’s quality and experience is joining PointsBet. Dan’s understanding of complex platform and trading operations, in particular algorithmic trading, risk and advanced analytics together with his strong people leadership skills, are valuable assets to PointsBet’s Australian and Canadian operations, as we continue to invest in our market leading live betting and multi capability through Odds Factory.”

“I am super excited about the opportunity to join a technology and product led company like PointsBet. They continue to invest in their platforms and there are exciting growth opportunities ahead,” Daniel Lucas said.

“Jerry Bowskill has made an outstanding contribution to PointsBet over his tenure leading our global technology organisation. He has been an integral part of the group executive leadership team, and his experience and expertise has proven invaluable as we have planned for and executed the transition of our United States business to Fanatics. I would like to thank Jerry for all he has done for PointsBet and wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” Sam Swanell said.

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