ROB Scott, Tellytrack & Media CEO at Phumelela Gaming & Leisure Limited, said on Wednesday evening that the Sporting Post is sensationalising his decision not to sell their publication, as well as the Soccer Betting News newspaper and Winning Form in outlets of TAB.
Sporting Post, under the headline “Phumelela bans Sporting Post from TABs”, announced on Tuesday that its distribution company, Racing Distribution, had been advised by Phumelela that its publications will no longer be sold in TAB outlets.
The article pointed out that “the reason given is that it is a conflict of interest for TAB to have publications on site which promote Hollywoodbets”.
Scott told Turf Talk that this was indeed a business decision, but that the Sporting Post had not been banned from TAB premises at all. He explained: “We’ve stocked Sporting Post and other publications like Top Turf for many years in certain TAB outlets, not all of them. But this is like going into a Woolworths store and buying an Edgars voucher. It’s not a question of trying to ‘shut down’ all competition, it’s a business decision anybody in my position would be making as a course of business principle.
“Clients of TAB who use Sporting Post, Winning Form and other racing guides published by Hollywood won’t be prevented from using them in our outlets. They can do as they please, buy them at CNA or other stockists and bring them into TAB’s. We have no objection to that.”
Scott added: “Hollywood Bets are involved in a costly law suit against Phumelela concerning the right to flight live racing. They use pirate feeds in their outlets while the suit is going on. They refuse to pay the required royalties. At the same time they want us to stock their product. In a way then, we’ve been funding their lawsuit against us which makes no sense.”
Scott said that questions had been raised about the independent World Sports Betting’s involvement with Tellytrack and their own rights to promote their business on Phumelela’s advertising vehicles.
“World Sports Betting pay their industry royalties and in addition they pay top advertising rates with us,” he said.
Asked about the future of Computaform, Phumelela’s flagship racing publication, Scott commented: “We will be keeping the print edition of Computaform going as most of our older clients prefer to race the traditional way, but we have our eye on the future. We are developing Computaform as a state-of-the-art digital form guide with a variety of features I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world, like choosing and extracting certain form parameters for personal suitability and ease of use.”
Photo: Rob Scott (JC Photos).