Sportech boosted by online betting
By Paul
Gaming firm Sportech posted a pre-tax profit of £5.6 million($8.64 million) for the first six months of the year, compared with a profit of £3.9 million ($6.02 million) in the same period in 2001.

Sportech, formerly the technology licensing firm Rodime, bought the UK’s Littlewoods football pools business in June 2000, shifting tack to become a sports betting firm. Now Sportech is focusing its efforts on an interactive media strategy.

Sportech said its strategy was now 'to provide customers with a wide range of betting opportunities across the television, telephone and Internet channels'.

In March, the company secured exclusive rights to interactive betting across all ITV's channels.

In the six months to 30 June, income from to Sportech's telephone and Internet operations leapt by 69% to £39.9 milion ($61.59 million) and the company said the average stake of bets placed had risen by almost 25%.

However, the telephone and Internet operations are not yet profitable, and one of its partnerships, a deal with the Attheraces horse-racing channel, had been put back to the end of the year because of technical hitches at the channel.

But the company said it hoped to deliver a 'step change in interactive performance in 2003', with the launch of its gaming offering on ITV channels at the beginning of next year.

Sportech also launched last month. The company has spent £3.3 million ($5.09) on new betting platforms in the first six months of the year.

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