02/12/2012 : U.S. HORSERACING FIRM BUYS ONLINE POKER COMPANY
Bluff Media acquired by Churchill Downs
Yet another US land gambling company, horseracing giant Churchill Downs in Louisville, has joined the convergence of online and land gambling race as the prospect of legalised online gambling in the USA grows stronger.
The horseracing company has struck a deal to acquire the well-known Atlanta-based poker information media firm Bluff Media in a move that could help to position it more strongly in the event of legalization.
The terms of the purchase agreement have not yet been disclosed.
Bluff is described in the Churchill Downs press material as a multimedia poker content, brand and publishing company. It owns the poker periodical Bluff Magazine and the magazine’s website; an online database that tracks and ranks the performance of poker players and tournaments called ThePokerDB; other blogs and forums; and various websites including Bluff.com and BluffPoker.com.
Churchill said it could build on Bluff Media’s offerings “in the event there is a liberalization of state or federal laws with respect to Internet poker in the United States.”
The racing company launched an online wagering site several years ago to take advantage of carve-outs in US law that allow internet betting on horseracing, and chief exec Bob Evans is on record as declaring that Churchill Downs would be interested in the online gambling business, should it be legalised.
Churchill Downs as emphasised that Bluff Media has not been involved in actual real money gambling, but uses its resources to direct players to games on other poker sites and at casinos, and disseminate information on poker.
Eddy Kleid and Eric Morris, who are the co-presidents of Bluff Media, and vice president of online operations, Jeff Markley, will continue in their current roles after the takeover.