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Picture : Owen Heffer, a passionate racing man and owner of Hollywoodbets, who are now the majority shareholder of KZN racing’s operator Gold Circle (subject to the approval of the Competition Commission followed by due process through the KwaZulu-Natal Gaming and Betting Board.) (Candiese Lenferna Photography)  

Gold Circle members in a special general meeting held earlier this evening have approved the financial rescuing and taking over of the company by Hollywood Sportsbook Holdings (Pty) Limited together with Gregory Mark Bortz.

That is a description of the important event in layman’s terms and the Gold Circle press release below explains it in more detail:

On 06 April 2023 Gold Circle received an Expression of Interest (EOI) from Hollywood Sportsbook Holdings (Pty) Limited, together with Gregory Mark Bortz, to acquire the share equity held in Gold Circle by Gold Circle Racing Club. The Board of Directors considered the EOI at a meeting held on 20 April 2023 and agreed to progress negotiations to consummate a possible positive outcome.

The Board of Directors of Gold Circle and Gold Circle Racing Club met on 24 August 2023 and unanimously approved a Capital Contribution and Share Sale Agreement with Hollywood Sportsbook Holdings (Pty) Limited (Hollywoodbets) which required the approval of Club Members before proceeding with the sale.

A Special General Meeting of Gold Circle Racing Club Members took place on 19 September 2023 and Members approved the Capital Contribution and Share Sale Agreement. The Sale Transaction will now follow its normal course through application for approval by the Competition Commission, followed by due process through the KwaZulu-Natal Gaming and Betting Board.

“We are delighted that Members have approved this transaction that will secure horse racing in the province for at least the next five years and that the many stakeholders who rely on this very important industry will continue to be supported through this decision,” said Sadha Naidoo, Chairman of Gold Circle.

On behalf of Hollywoodbets, its CEO, Suren Rampersadh responded, “We take this opportunity to express appreciation to the Members of Gold Circle Racing Club and to all stakeholders for their confidence in Hollywoodbets by supporting this acquisition. We are fully committed to securing the future of the horse racing industry in KwaZulu-Natal. Horse racing has found itself in the doldrums for a number of years and its rebirth is long overdue. Under the leadership of Chairman Designate, Greg Bortz, we are confident that the transformation being experienced in the Western Cape will be replicated on the east coast. We will now work hard to achieve all the necessary regulatory approvals to bring this revival to fruition.”