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Phumelela Gaming Brands Bookmakers as Vigilantes for Using Tellytrack Channel

South African gambling laws - GamingZion

Tellytrack channel becomes an issue of heated debate, as the South African firm Phumelela Gaming accuses bookmakers of accessing their station without paying.

Phumelela Gaming is a business venture that maintains several gaming operations both locally in South Africa and through international markets. The company focuses on providing mobile betting and information business, while also being involved with horseracing/destination marketing business.

Now the prominent firm is dealing with issues created by local sportsbooks. Betting companies reportedly use Phumelela’s Tellytrack channel for their own use without paying the appropriate membership fees.

Bookmakers believe new fees are unreasonable

• Tellytrack broadcasts exciting racing events

• Only the selected entities have the right to show the channel

• Phumelela Gaming, Gold Circle and Kenilworth Racing own Tellytrack

Some of the biggest sportsbooks in South Africa, including the popular Hollywoodbets, have decided to hold out for a new and revised deal that would see them continue airing horse-racing at their outlets. Phumelela’s chief executive, Rian du Plessis, believes that this is against the law as some companies didn’t pay for the extension of the broadcasting privilege.

The sportbooks on the other hand do not wish to sign a deal which they brand as unfavorable to them, as they argue that the terms and fees on offer are rather steep and unreasonable. The proposed new deal would see them pay from the current fixed fee of R4,500 per month to a multiple of eight or higher.

Plessis claims that the bookmakers have signed deals with pay-TV provider MultiChoice with wrong intentions as they seek to maintain access to the respective channel in their betting shops.

He remains assured that the companies in question will have to answer for their “fraud.” He describes it like someone stealing a car because they didn’t agree with the price set by the original owner, according to gambling news.

Dermot O’Connell, betting operations manager of Hollywoodbets, wasn’t available for comment but stated that Phumelela’s accusations have no real basis and are not correct. Gambling authorities and the respective companies were set to meet last week to discuss the matter and find an equitable solution to the problem.

Regulatory boards have to bring a verdict on broadcasting deals

Phumelela Gaming is in a partnership deal with Gold Circle and Kenilworth Racing, and they collectively own and operate the Tellytrack channel. As a business group they have accused sportsbooks of infringing the channel’s copyright by maintaining live horse-racing broadcasts without agreeing to a deal and paying a membership fee.

In response to the accusation aimed at them, the betting companies have decided to submit complaint letters to several prominent regulatory and supervisory bodies. Gauteng Gambling Board, the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board, and also the Competition Commission are all among the big names that have been addressed with the problem.

Before the channel troubles surfaced, the pay-TV provider MultiChoice issued a statement back in March that they have entered an agreement with the three respective companies. Phumelela Gaming, Gold Circle and Kenilworth Racing have all given their right to MultiChoice to distribute the Tellytrack channel only to the select individuals and other commercial entities.

The firms have agreed to retain the right to offer the Tellytrack services to restaurants, pubs, clubs and bookmakers. Clients that are identified as these specific businesses are not allowed to broadcast the channel through DVTV, considering that MultiChoice does not maintain the right for that.

When the new broadcasting fees were released to the bookmakers in January, they were not agreed upon by the gambling boards. This argument could come in handy for the sportsbooks, as under South African gambling laws such matters must be discussed and approved by the necessary regulating bodies.

On the other hand Phumelela’s CEO claims that Tellytrack held no racing license, therefore it was not obliged to facilitate the respective content to the bookmakers. However, if the boards come to the conclusion that Phumelela’s new fees for broadcasting racing events from Eastern Cape and Gauteng are too high, then the company will honor the ruling of the officials.

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