by Bob Ehalt
Sportech PLC has enhanced its position in the online wagering market by acquiring eBet Online Inc., a California-based provider of technology and services to 20 outlets across North America.
eBet Online's list of customers includes Colonial Downs and Penn National Gaming Inc. Andrew Gaughan, Sportech's managing director of business development for the Americas, said eBet Online will continue to operate on its current software platform for about the next 12 months.
The company also holds a license to operate a multi-jurisdictional account wagering hub in Oregon.
Mark Gregory, a principal in and chief executive officer of eBet Online, has been named Sportech's managing director of interactive products and services and will work toward creating a single platform joining eBet Online's customers with Sportech's current roster of nine clients.
"This is a case of two businesses that do the same thing coming together to make things more efficient for both of them," Gaughan said.
Sportech currently provides services for, among others, Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino; the Catskill, Nassau, and Suffolk off-track betting operations in New York; and Connecticut Off-Track Betting, which it owns and operates under the brand name of Winners.
Gaughan said the acquisition also puts the London-based Sportech in a strong position to move into the iGaming market should more states vote to allow sports wagering in the future.
The acquisition comes on the heels of the announcement that Sportech Venues, the parent company's subsidiary which operates Connecticut OTB, received state approval to open an online wagering unit by April.
"Both Sportech and eBet have experienced significant growth in business-to-business customers over the last 18 to 36 months, as we see licensed operators increasingly interested in expanding their own brand online, while still retaining the direct relationship with their customers," said David Schreff, chief operating officer for Sportech–the Americas. "We can reference our own situation here in Connecticut as an example of this.
"With approval recently granted to offer online wagering on horse racing, we want to build on our relationships with our customers across all of our brick and mortar, phone bet, and online platforms so they come to view Winners, and not another company, as their place for betting on horse racing online."
Gaughan said the timetable for launching the Connecticut advance deposit wagering system has not changed as a result of the acquisition because it will feature the rollout of Sportech's G4 Platform. "We want to launch in Connecticut by taking our best foot forward, and the G4 Platform will let us do that."