Several ADWs Increase Handle in Oregon

Several ADWs Increase Handle in Oregon
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/Blood-Horse Publications
Several advance deposit wagering entities posted increased handle through the Oregon hub system in the second quarter of the year, despite an overall national decline blamed primarily on a revenue-sharing dispute between horsemen’s groups and various tracks.

Overall handle processed through the state declined 9.1%, year-over-year, to $408,740,814 during the quarter, according to data compiled by the Oregon Racing Commission.

At first glance, the loss appears deeper than a 4.15% decline on total wagering in the United States and Canada, as recently reported by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase. But the final Oregon tally is obviously skewed by the departure of former off-shore wagering entity International Racing Group, which was closed down in February. IRG accounted for more than $58 million in handle in last year’s second quarter, a loss of which is a ready excuse to explain the $37 million decline in wagers made during the most recent quarter.

Oregon is closely watched by the industry because of the presence of many large domestic ADWs, which focus on Internet and phone wagering. TVG and XpressBet, among others, posted gains over last year’s second quarter, despite the loss of varying racing content associated with the revenue-sharing battle. In the dispute, horsemen are seeking a higher percentage of wagers made through ADWs, and have withheld signal-distribution consent to various racetracks balking at the demands.

TVG, which is being actively shopped by new parent company Macrovision Solutions Corp., recorded a quarterly handle total of $134,001,759, up 9% over last year. Meanwhile, XpressBet, which is owned by Magna Entertainment Corp., totaled a company hub record of $64,507,573 in wagers, a rise of 19% over 2007.

Among other entities, The Racing Channel increased 57.8% to $15,424,686, while U.S. Off-Track rose 5.6% to $7,505,575. Bet Pad, which was launched in late 2007, posted a total handle of $5,146,505. recorded $113,228,855, the second-highest hub total of the seven entities active in the quarter, but the final tab was 8.8% lower than the California company compiled last year. A new ADW, Amwest Entertainment, opened briefly for tests, posting negligible results., which is owned by Churchill Downs Inc., processed $68,925,734 in wagers during the quarter, a total that in one analysis can be viewed as flat against 2007. Twinspires and various AmericaTab platforms now owned by CDI last year combined for a handle of $68,682,525 during the second quarter. CDI in June 2007 acquired AmericaTab and other properties, including Bloodstock Research Information Services and the Thoroughbred Sports Network, in an $80 million deal.

Despite the decline in gross handle recorded in Oregon, the second-quarter total is the third-highest since the state began operating its hub system in 2000. The top total of $445,788,221 was recorded in the third quarter of last year, while the second highest total of $445,106,894 was hit in the second quarter of 2007.

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