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September 17, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

Plan to open Danbury OTB postponed as operator explores sale

A plan to open an off-track betting (OTB) parlor in Danbury has been postponed, as the British company behind it explores being acquired.

Sportech Venues, which has exclusive licensing rights to OTB in Connecticut, has been working for about a year to open a gambling facility at Two Steps Downtown Grille. That plan was met with considerable opposition by a number of residents, but appeared to be on its way to gaining city council approval this week.

In a letter to the city council, Sportech Venues President Ted Taylor wrote: “We respect the city of Danbury and its officials and residents, however, regrettably, being a publicly quoted company mandates certain international regulatory issues and requirements.

“Regretfully, a combination of market uncertainty and unfortunate timing has compelled Sportech to discontinue its project in Danbury at this time,” Taylor wrote. “Last week, subsequent to our public hearing with the City Council, our parent company, Sportech PLC, announced that a potential sale of its assets, including those of Sportech Venues Inc., had been extended through the first quarter of 2018 with the UK Takeover Panel.

“The Board of Directors of Sportech PLC, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, has directed us to put a hold on all major capital investments until such times as the situation is clarified,” he added.

“That said,” Taylor continued, “we assure you that we remain both excited and enthused about hopefully working with Danbury in the near future to deliver jobs and create mutual benefits.”

Sportech Venues is a division of London’s Sportech PLC, which announced its availability for being acquired last fall. CEO Ian Penrose and Chief Finance Officer Mickey Kalifa resigned shortly before that announcement.

Sportech Venues opened an OTB operation at Bobby V’s Restaurant & Sports Bar in Stamford last July.