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Israel – Israel pays out following horseracing betting ban

By - 17 January 2018

The Israeli government will pay GBI Racing, a joint venture between Racing UK and At The Races, a settlement fee of around US$ 6.7m having banned betting on horse racing.

The compensation covers the remaining few months of a contract between the betting partnership and the government which was due to run out in August.

Israel launched its horserace betting industry in 2013 but opted to prohibit it last year with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, pictured, describing state-sponsored betting, as ‘tainted money.’

A GBI spokesperson said: “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.”

“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,” the spokesperson added. “We believe it is a fair settlement, given the circumstances.”

Mr Kahlon added: “Eighteen months ago I said there would no longer be slot machines in Israel, and I am very happy that from today, there aren’t any more.”

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