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Israel to welcome GBI Racing

The GBI Racing joint venture between pay-televising broadcasters At the Races and Racing UK, which distributes British and Irish racing to betting outlets worldwide, is set to launch in Israel.

From October 15, GBI Racing will commence a “substantial local marketing push” to propel the country to its top-tier status for 2014 alongside various other markets around the world.

This will include a national television and outdoor advertising campaign, which has been planned by Israeli government-owned sports betting operator the Israel Sports Betting Board (ISBB).

The campaign will coincide with GBI Racing’s launch in the territory and the roll out of its shops service to approximately 150 franchise outlets.

GBI Racing first launched a test of its services in the country during August and experienced a significant enough response to make the move on a permanent basis.

The service will enable Israeli punters to bet remotely on live horse racing for the first time, using a purpose-built Hebrew website developed by ISBB and GBI Racing’s development partner, i-neda.

All horseracing-related betting turnover in the country will be passed back into the UK and Irish tote pools.

“What’s happening in Israel is great news for horse racing and is a real case study for the world,” GBI Racing’s territory director, James Singer, said.

“ISBB has introduced thoroughbred racing to betting audiences as a completely new, exciting and dynamic sport under a new brand, with many exciting innovations such as purpose-built display systems in shops, touch screen data terminals, a dedicated Hebrew audio service and trained retail agents.”

The new service is the culmination of a two-year development project by GBI Racing and ISBB to establish infrastructures, systems and processes that enable live, pari-mutuel horserace betting in Israel.

ISBB issued a tender in June 2011 to gain government approval to introduce horseracing simulcast as a licenced betting product in Israel. It awarded GBI Racing a long-term deal in February 2012, and the government licence for horserace betting was granted in May 2012.

Prior to the launch of GBI Racing’s service, sports betting in Israel was restricted by law to fixed odds operations, mainly on football and basketball.

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