Saturday May 23,2015 : CHURCHILL DOWNS PREPARES FOR CALIFORNIA ONLINE POKER ACTION
Racing company teams with Oceans 11 cardroom.
Several media reports, quoting informed sources, report that racetrack company Churchill Downs will soon announce a partnership deal with Californian cardroom Oceans 11, and possibly the Crystal land casino, as part of its preparations to compete in a legalised and regulated online poker market that could emerge in California.
For the seventh year running Californian lawmakers are once again negotiating the obstacle-strewn, tricky business of getting a slew of self-interested parties on the same page in order to legalise online poker in the state
A Churchill deal with an as yet unknown but presumably influential cardroom would be a powerful competitor, given Churchill's financial resources and its considerable experience in online wagering through subsidiary Twin Spires.com.
It would certainly attract the attention of some of the Indian tribal interests in the state intent on keeping the racetracks out of any legalised online poker regime, and of powerful alliances like the Pokerstars-Tribal- Cardroom coalition and the Bwin-Auburn partnership, both keen on entering a potentially $300 million a year market.
In related news, Churchill Downs has launched litigation in its home state of Kentucky against the Daily Racing Form over bets on events at CDI tracks which the newspaper's online betting website DRF Bets allegedly accepted.
The Courier-Journal newspaper reports that Churchill claims the activity contravenes the Interstate Horseracing Act, a federal law which obligates operators to obtain the permission of racetracks before accepting off-track betting.
Churchill Downs is seeking damages and a cease and desist order against DRF, which uses Xpressbet.com, a rival of Churchill Downs online wagering subsidiary, Twin Spires.com.