Manila Jockey Club JV; AGTech’s profitable 2011; De Niro pimps Korean casino

de-niro-korea-casinoSports broadcaster Satellite Information Services (SIS), the exclusive distributor of scores and stats for the English and Scottish football leagues, has inked a deal with the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC). The pact will enable the Hong Kong horseracing colossus to receive a steady stream of UK footie data to assist its pari-mutuel betting on overseas matches. The HKJC holds a local monopoly on both horseracing and betting on international sporting events.

The Manila Jockey Club Inc. (MJCI) has formed a new company with media solutions outfit GMA New Media (a division of GMA Network Inc.) to expand wagering on the ponies and other sporting events in the Philippines. The new joint venture, dubbed Gamespan Inc., will (a) have the exclusive broadcast rights to all races and games offered by MJCI, (b) operate and manage MJCI’s computer systems and (c) set up a new infrastructure for processing bets. The Manila Standard reports that each of the JV partners will provide technology to enable betting online and via mobile phones. In November, MJCI entered into a memorandum of understanding with state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to place OTB stations in Pagcor’s casinos and slots parlors.

Chinese sports lottery services provider AGTech Holdings Ltd. saw revenues grow 6% to HK$111.3m (US$14.3m) in 2011. Through a combination of what the company called “stringent cost control measures, streamlining operations and increased productivity,” operating profits rose almost nine-fold to HK$7.3m. CEO John Sun credited the August launch of rapid-draw virtual sports lottery game Lucky Racing and the acquisitions of phone/mobile provider Silvercreek and market-leading sports lottery terminal provider GOT with boosting 2011’s bottom line.

Finally, Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro is pimping the Paradise Walker Hill Casino in Korea. The venue, which hosts the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Seoul Festival of Poker, has a billboard outside Incheon International Airport on which a tuxedo-clad De Niro flips playing cards toward the viewer. While De Niro is an international star, locals are barred from entering all but one of the country’s 17 casinos, so clearly, if you’re a local, the answer to “Are you talking to me?” can be answered with a resounding ‘no’.