Betfair buying US wagering site

anniemac

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Hope I don't get into trouble for posting this. It was posted on the DRF website and I thought it was very interest. TVG has been steadily losing money because Magna Entertainment and Churchill Downs own the majority of the racetracks in the US and let TVG air their racetracks on a limited basis. Also, the horseowners have kept the signals from being aired from alot of the tracks because of a money dispute with TVG and HRTV.

So this development is very interesting on its own but because of the fact that gambling online in the US is iffy at best makes it very interesting. I know for a fact that the Twinspires wagering site is marked as a gambling and you can't use 'real' bank accounts to fund it.

Betfair buys TVG for $50 million
By Matt Hegarty
Betfair, the British online bet matchmaking company, has purchased Television Games Network, the U.S.'s largest horse race account-wagering and broadcasting company, the companies announced late Tuesday.

In a release, the companies said that Betfair purchased TVG for $50 million in cash consideration. TVG was owned by Macrovision, which acquired TVG's former parent, Gemstar-TV Guide, in 2008. Macrovision had begun to seek the sale of TVG shortly after purchasing Gemstar.

The acquisition unites two unlikely partners. Betfair, which was founded in 2000, operates a website that allows its customers to make bets with other customers, using lines posted by the customers themselves, a process that is akin to bookmaking. TVG operates an account-wagering platform that allows customers to wager into commingled parimutuel pools, on races held in the U.S. and foreign countries.

Betfair's service is extremely popular in the United Kingdom, where bookmaking is legal, and the company has been lauded by its supporters for providing an innovative way for people to bet on sports. However, U.S. racetracks have remained wary of the company's business model because of perceptions that the service could allow race-fixers to profit from holding a horse. In addition, bookmaking is illegal in the U.S.

The political climate surrounding online gambling is far more conservative in the U.S. than in the United Kingdom. TVG has typically limited its business to customers in states where account wagering is explicitly legal, though the company has reached sub-licensing deals with other domestic account-wagering companies that operate in gray-area states. TVG collects a portion of the wagering handle that is made as a result of the agreements.

TVG officials did not immediately return phone calls late on Tuesday after the announcement was made.

In a release, David Yu, the chief executive of Betfair, said: "We have always been attracted by the operating strength of TVG together with its conservative and prudent regulatory approach. Its values are very much aligned with those of Betfair. We have waited to enter the U.S. market until we had a high-quality, and above all, legal product offering, and we believe with this acquisition we have secured those goals."

TVG is available in more than 30 million homes in the U.S. through cable and satellite television subscriptions. Through the first three quarters of 2008, handle through TVG's Oregon-based hub was $384.2 million.

Account wagering in the U.S. is currently dominated by four companies: TVG, Youbet.com, XpressBet, and Twinspires.com. XpressBet, which is owned by Magna Entertainment Corp., has a signal-sharing partnership with Twinspires.com, which is owned by Churchill Downs Inc. Magna and Churchill also co-own HorseRacing TV, a television network that competes with TVG. TVG's sub-licensing partner is Youbet.
 

Mousey

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Ohhhh... I love this!..... :D
 

Mousey

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U.K.-based Betfair is betting that the U.S. market will be legalized sooner rather than later.

Last Updated: July 14, 2009: 4:53 PM ET



NEW YORK (Fortune) -- If your favorite book happens to be Seabiscuit, you already know the answer to the following question: What are the three legal forms of online gambling in the United States?

The Federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, passed in 2006, put the kibosh on all kinds of online gambling, with the exception of fantasy sports, online lotteries, and horse/harness racing. It actually wasn't the betting that was outlawed, but the transfer of money from a bank to an online gambling site. In any event, for online betting houses in the U.S., the party was over -- sort of.

Online gambling in the United States still goes on -- billions of dollars every year -- it just happens via offshore outfits and offshore accounts. Strictly speaking, in ain't legal...
 

anniemac

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As a Texan, I can bet online through only one betting site, Twinspires which is owned by Churchill Downs. First I signed up at what was Brisbet but couldn't open the account online, had to mail them a check, they opened the account and then I could deposit with credit card. Make any sense to you. Read on. Then Brisbet turned into Betpad, but just for certain states. Texas being one of them. Then Betpad was sold to Churchill Downs Inc. and turned into Twinspires.

I can bet on any racetrack in the US, Canada, Australia etc but I cannot bet on racetracks in the state of Texas. Does this make sense? It's not the betting site, it the legislation here in Texas.

And to top it all off, we can't get a slot machine referendum passed here because the 'good old boys' that run our state along with lobbyists from the surrounding states with gambling won't let it happen. So the horsetracks in Texas are dying a slow and agonizing death while the same 'good old boys' travel over to Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas to support their gambling. Texas is losing money hand over fist. Not only are we losing revenues from casinos but the horsemen, trainers, tracks etc are losing money.

This is a pretty sore spot with me as my SO used to have racehorses and still has his trainers license. I know how this affects all people concerned from the owners to the grooms on the backside.
 
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