Israel government settles GBI Racing contract termination

Having implemented a federal ban on horseracing wagering, the government of Israel has settled its dispute with UK and Ireland racing content distributor GBI Racing.

GBI Racing, the joint venture of broadcasters’ Racing UK and At The Races, will gain a compensation of 23 million Shekels (£4.9 million) for the termination of the contract with Israel Sports Betting Board (ISBB), which was set to run until August 2018.

Since 2016, racing wagering has been under review by the Israel Finance Ministry, which has set out to diminish state-sanctioned betting/gambling services.

In June 2017, Israel’s parliament announced that it would proceed to ban betting on racing. GBI officials would counter the abrupt termination of the ISBB contract, demanding circa £40 million in compensation for its initial claim.

The Racing Post details that Israel had become a ‘top-five’ territory for GBI services with revenues believed to be around £4m a year. The content distributor had invested significant funds and resources tailoring systems and translating terminal content into the Hebrew language.

Updating stakeholders, a GBI communication stated that the distributor felt that the contract compensation was a ‘fair settlement given the circumstances’.

“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”.

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