The joint venture company GBI Racing that provides betting shop operators around the globe with high-quality UK and Irish racing, is to now look for new opportunities following the horse racing betting ban which the Israeli government recently imposed.
A compensation amounting to £4.9 million is to be paid by the Israeli government to the company, which has been responsible for the coverage distribution of British and Irish racing to foreign betting operators. The contract between the Israel Sports Betting Board and GBI Racing, which operates as a joint venture between At The Races and Racing UK, was set to end in August, but the company’s presence in Israel was hit by the nation-wide anti-gambling campaign.
Previously, revenues generated from gambling activities have been qualified by Moshe Kahlon, the finance minister of Israel, as “tainted money”.
Israeli Government Imposes Horseracing Ban
This week, the country’s Government suspended horse betting, which forced GBI Racing to stop operating in Israel. The local Ministry of Finance, under which the horse racing gambling ban was officially introduced, has agreed to pay the massive compensation to the company. That was confirmed by a spokesperson of GBI Racing for The Racing Post. The company’s representative also commented on the decision of the Israeli Government to impose a ban on horseracing, saying it was a massive blow for the company which has been trading in the country for four and a half years.
What is more, the spokesperson of GBI Racing explained that the main problem is actually the fact that the country had had no history of horseracing, not to mention the right infrastructure to facilitate horseracing betting. This, however, had not stopped GBI Racing from establishing at the local gambling market as a large and important player, while the country became one of the key markets for the operator.
GBI Racing Considers New Expansion Options
The GBI Racing spokesperson further explained that the partnership between the company and the Israeli country has accounted for massive revenues and funding to the racecourses in the UK and Ireland, and also brought funding for a variety of good causes of local sports and Government. Still, the company’s representative revealed that the company had accepted the decision of the Ministry of Finance and would close its operations across the company.
It also became clear that the company is to now seek new expansion options, with the Italian and African gambling markets being among the most-considered location for such an expansion. GBI Racing’s spokesperson shared that the operator would look forward to close the gap in its revenues expected to appear after its Israeli operations’ closure. To do that, GBI Racing is to put more efforts in increasing its revenues generated by already existing and new markets.