Sportech boss plots expansion in US after Connecticut approval

SPORTECH, the horseracing and football pools operator, yesterday announced it had won approval for its latest US expansion as it bids to become the country’s dominant internet betting service.

The company has been granted an exclusive licence to offer online gambling on horseracing and greyhound racing in Connecticut, opening it up to around 4m customers.

Ian Penrose, Sportech’s chief executive, said the company’s continuing expansion in the US is positioning it well for the expected liberalisation of much of the country’s gambling laws.

“This is an important step for the integrity and trust in Sportech, and as regulation comes we are well positioned to take advantage of that,” Penrose told City A.M.

“It all bodes well for us going forward, we think there is a real opportunity in America.”

Sportech now holds licences for horseracing in 29 of the US’s 50 states, and makes around half of its revenues in the country, having purchased New York based Scientific Games Racing in 2010.

The company believes it is well placed if online gambling laws are relaxed at a federal level. It has recently appointed a chief operating officer for the Americas region, sports industry veteran David Schreff.

Sportech’s online Connecticut operations will go live in March.