Sportech, the international betting technology business, has published its results for the year ended 31 December 2018, showing revenues down by 3.9 per cent to $83.8m from $87.2m in 2017. The company also used its full-year presentation to update investors on a number of issues across the company, notably progress in the US.

Richard McGuire, Interim Executive Chairman, outlined: “In prior years, we had highlighted our planning and positioning for the introduction of sports betting across the US. Following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) in May 2018, this potential became a clear ambition for the company.

“We held a sports betting conference in Connecticut attended by significant clients, regulators, legislators, and partners from across the US to address issues around the opportunity, and to introduce Sportech’s position on sports betting in Connecticut, and Sportech’s solutions to the industry. The Racing and Digital division also commenced a B2B sales and marketing campaign to customers considering sports betting, as legal options in their states emerge.”

Focusing on activities in Connecticut, he continued: “In Connecticut, where sports betting has not yet been legalized by the State Legislature, we commenced a strategic communications campaign in 2018 that expanded significantly into 2019 to drive our position in seeking an appropriate right to deliver legal sports betting across our Connecticut venues and through the intrastate web and mobile betting service.

“The campaign is extensive and consists of both legislator and consumer-facing messaging, lobbying, and public relations activities. Sports betting licensing acquisition in Connecticut remains a critical focus for the group and includes dedicated senior management engagement to support our local efforts and initiatives in positioning the business appropriately.”

According to McGuire, Sportech’s management has continued its lobbying and communications efforts for enforcement of protections of its exclusive Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) licence in Connecticut.

“Currently, unlicensed and untaxed out-of-state ADW operators continue to accept Connecticut wagers, in violation of Sportech’s exclusive licence and despite being issued cease and desist letters from the State’s Attorney General’s office,” he said. “Whilst the proposed bills were not successful in the 2018 legislative session, we anticipate another opportunity to address this loophole for illegal, out-of-state competitors as the State’s attention is focused on a variety of gambling-related and taxation topics.”

McGuire added that the group also continues to implement changes designed to streamline and enhance operations, including the consolidation of accounting functions to Sportech’s North American headquarters in Connecticut. “We have also created a task force led by Sportech Racing and Digital’s Global Operations Director to identify, evaluate, and pursue opportunities to optimize the Division’s terminal hardware products,” he confirmed.