26th of September 2010 Author: Johnny Karp
British online gambling group following Betfair into the American horserace sector
The British gambling group Sportech plc has announced ambitious plans to enter the US horseracing sector, having just achieved the approval of Connecticut and Maine regulators to acquire Scientific Games Racing (SGR), a subsidiary of Scientific Games Corporation (SGC). The reported purchase price agreed is $ 83 million.
Notifying the London stock exchange of the agreement, the gambling group said it had agreed with Scientific Games Corporation to complete the deal by October 22 this year, and that the only remaining obstacle to completion was the approval of the New Jersey Racing Commission, which is expected to give the agreement its blessing around end September.
Acquiring SGC will substantially boost Sportech's pari-mutuel capacity, opening up new audiences in North, South and Central America as well as other international markets.
The deal, which has been under negotiation since early this year , involves Scientific Games acquiring a 19.9 percent holding in Sportech. Also involved (as a 12.5 percent partner in Sportech) is online gambling software developer Playtech, which invested GBP 10 million in the company earlier this year.
Online wagering on horseracing in the USA is permitted through exemptions for the sport in anti-internet gambling laws.
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