Fourteen months after the gates were sprung on South African horseracing’s largest corporate financial transaction, the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board approved the acquisition of Kenilworth Racing (Pty) Ltd by Hollywood Sportsbook Holdings (Pty) Limited on 31 October 2023.
Hollywoodbets proudly announced this week that Cape Racing is now a wholly owned subsidiary of South Africa’s leading sportsbook operator, and that innovation and changes in personnel, philosophy, policy and bricks and mortar, have advanced at a rapid pace following the approval of the underlying transaction by the Competition Commission in April of this year.
Hollywoodbets has injected substantial investment into the infrastructure and facilities at the flagship Hollywoodbets Kenilworth racecourse, the Hollywoodbets Durbanville country course, and in the engine room of the sport in the region, the Milnerton Training Centre on the West Coast.
Hollywoodbets’ CEO, Suren Rampersadh said that they were delighted that this very strategic acquisition for the South African horseracing and breeding industry has been given the green light.
“It is well documented that Cape Racing has been in the doldrums for years. Thousands of jobs have been at risk. Stakeholders have been neglected and had become disillusioned. The renaissance of horseracing, not only in the Western Cape, but also in KwaZulu-Natal has begun. Hollywoodbets is taking this opportunity seriously and we are investing, accordingly,” he added.
Mr Rampersadh continued that under the dynamic leadership of Hollywoodbets’ partner, Greg Bortz, the transformation towards a brighter future is unfolding at warp speed, and there are encouraging signs that the confidence of all participants in this great sport has been revived.
“Horseracing remains an important component of our business. Hopefully, the acquisition of Gold Circle will be successfully completed in 2024,” he concluded.
The concept of a ‘coastal racing’ operator is on the cards after the Members of Gold Circle Racing Club approved the sale of Gold Circle to Hollywoodbets on 19 September 2023. That transaction will now be subject to approval of the Competition Commission and the KwaZulu-Natal Gaming & Betting Board.
While Hollywoodbets Durbanville has fulfilled a vital role as a support venue in the build-up to the Cape’s high-class summer racing season, the return to Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Sunday 26 November has caused waves of excitement and unprecedented anticipation throughout the local racing community.
Once the improvements have been completed, plans are well advanced to hopefully elevate Hollywoodbets Kenilworth to rank amongst the top racecourses internationally.
Exciting times indeed!
- Media release by Hollywoodbets on Monday 13 November 2023.