The Gauteng Gambling Board has transferred all horse racing operating licenses from Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited to 4Racing, the new entity set up as part of the Phumelela business rescue process.
This opens the way for 4Racing assume management of Highveld Racing operations and is seen as a critical moment in the rescue of the thoroughbred industries, which were thrown into turmoil by Covid-19 and the financial collapse of Phumelela.
An announcement at the weekend confirmed that the Gauteng Gambling Board had handed 4Racing the totalisator, bookmaker and race meeting licences on Friday 12 November.
This follows the transfer of licence approvals to 4Racing from the Mpumalanga Economic Regulator, the Eastern Cape Gambling Board, the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board and the Free State Gambling, Liquor and Tourism Authority.
4Racing chief executive officer Fundi Sithebe commented: “The transfer of the operating licences is a major step forward for the South African horse racing industry. It gives 4Racing the opportunity to bring stability to the industry and to the over 1,000 people currently employed by Phumelela.
“We have been hard at work in preparation for the granting of all licences we have applied for and for the completion of the transaction with Phumelela and we will soon share more concrete details of our future vision.”
In compliance with Gauteng Gambling Board licence conditions, 4Racing’s chairperson Mxolisi Zwane has agreed to step down from his position.
4Racing branding has been evident in horse racing for several months although meetings have been administered by long-standing officials in the various centres.
Gold Circle, which runs racing in KwaZulu-Natal, was not directly part of the Phumelela business rescue process but is currently involved in court action arising out of the dissolution of Phumelela assets, some of which were jointly owned.