Israel agrees settlement with GBI Racing

The Israeli government will have to pay USD 6.6M to GBI Racing after a ban on horse racing betting became effective in the country.

Israel.- GBI Racing is a joint venture between Racing UK and At The Races which distributes British and Irish racing to overseas betting operators. As reported by the Racing Post, GBI had an agreement with the Israel Sports Betting Board which was due to run until August. However, a ban on horse betting introduced this week has led to GBI being forced to halt operations within Israeli borders.

According to Israel’s finance minister Moshe Kahlon, the revenue the government collects from gambling is “tainted money”.

The Ministry of Finance, which shut down the operation of horseracing betting from Monday, has agreed to pay a settlement of US$ 6.6M.

Betting on racing in Israel was introduced in 2013 but the country quickly became one of GBI’s top five jurisdictions with annual revenues of US$ 5.4M.

GBI said in a statement, “The closure is a shame, given the giant strides GBI Racing has made in the four and a half years of trading in Israel. The country had no history of horseracing, no infrastructure to facilitate betting on horseracing, and had no real affiliation with a uniquely British product.

“GBI Racing quickly established Israel as a key market. It’s a partnership that has delivered substantial revenues and funding to UK and Irish racecourses, as well as for sports and government good causes in Israel, but we have accepted the ministry’s decision and the political will to close the operation. We believe it is a fair settlement, given the circumstances.

“It is now up to GBI Racing to fill that hole by increasing revenues in existing and new markets. We are already excited about opportunities in Italy and Africa, for example.”

In this article: