GBI Racing, the company responsible for distributing British and Irish racing to overseas betting operators, was seeking £44m in compensation after the Israeli government banned betting on the sport.

Although GBI Racing had a contract with the Israel Sports Betting Board until August of this year, Israel’s parliament approved legislation to ban betting on horseracing that also led to Israel’s slot machines being turned off.

Israel has now reached a financial settlement with the UK-based horseracing broadcaster. On Wednesday it was reported that the government of Israel had agreed to pay an amount of £4.9m to GBI Racing, a joint venture of television channels Racing UK and At The Races, as compensation for the early termination of its contract with the Israel Sports Betting Board (ISBB).

Israel formally banned betting on horseraces last week, as part of the country’s endeavor to reduce gambling activity by its citizens despite the fact that the contract with GBI was supposed to extend through to August 2018.

Although race betting only launched in Israel in 2013, the country had become one of GBI’s top five territories in terms of revenue generation.

A spokesperson for GBI revealed that they had originally sought compensation of up to £43m for the termination of its ISBB deal but had settled for a mere £4.9m which he called “a fair settlement, given the circumstances”. He went on to say that the closure of its Israeli operations is “a shame, given the giant strides” GBI had made in the market in a little over four years.

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