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Phone Betting Drops After Attheraces Demise

29 April 2004

UNITED KINGDOM – As reported by the UK Independent: "Bookmakers have suffered a drop in telephone betting of between 20 and 40 per cent in the past few weeks, since the Attheraces horseracing channel went off air.

"William Hill yesterday told The Independent that its takings were down 20 per cent since the screens went black on Attheraces on 1 April. The channel, owned by BSkyB, Arena Leisure and Channel 4, was forced to close after failing to generate sufficient revenues. It had been hoped that punters would make bets through interactive television, but most were calling up their own bookies from their sofa.

"…William Hill has one of the biggest telephone betting services in the sector, and telephone bets accounts for as much 15 per cent of the business. About 75 per cent of bets placed over the phone are on horseracing.

"But analysts reckon some bookies could be suffering as much as a 40 per cent decline in horseracing betting.

"…Ladbrokes, which also has a significant phone betting operation, confirmed that the Attheraces closure has hit business.

"…It will be some weeks, however, before any new channel is on the air. Analysts are likely to slash their forecasts for bookmakers if the losses continue."

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