10/15/09 – The giant British online gambling group Betfair stands to gain substantially – both in revenues and investor confidence – from the decision by the state of Illinois to permit online betting on its horseraces.
Earlier this year Betfair acquired the major U.S. horserace betting company TVG.com, which is one of the licensees approved by the Illinois Racing Board and should benefit from the new policy.
Commenting on developments in Illinois, Gerard Cunningham, president of Betfair US, said: "Just in time for the Hawthorne races and Zenyatta to race in the Breeder's Cup, Illinois' racing fans can experience the thrill of betting online at TVG.com.
"No other online wagering site offers the number of tracks, secures your money, or engages with its community like TVG.com."
Illinois, which is home to a significant horse breeding industry, three Thoroughbred and two Standardbred tracks, joins a growing number of U.S. states that have approved online wagering on horseracing including California, New York, Kentucky, and Maryland, taking advantage of legislative carve-outs.
"We believe that legal, regulated online betting will help reinvigorate the horseracing industry in Illinois," said Cunningham. "The convenience of being able to wager online, or away from home with your cell phone, will help attract a new audience and generation to racing."
Americans have already wagered close to $6.5 billion on horseracing this year alone, with about 10 percent of bets placed online. There are more than 55 000 races around the U.S. every year, and TVG broadcasts 27 000 races each year on its television network.
In 2008, TVG.com accepted more than $500 million in wagers from customers across the U.S. The TVG television network, which is broadcast into more than 33 million homes across the U.S., is already available in Illinois through distributors including Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network and Media One.
Earlier this year, TVG and TVG.com were acquired by Betfair Ltd.
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