Breeders' Cup Ltd. and TVG officials have granted permission for Beulah Park's WinBet interactive wagering subsidiary to accept bets on Saturday's Breeders' Cup championship day card.
Although he did not have details of under what conditions WinBet would offer Breeders' Cup wagering, Beulah Park general manager Mike Weiss said a deal was worked out Friday between WinBet, TVG, and Breeders' Cup. "Breeders' Cup and TVG decided it was in the best interest of Ohio racing to allow WinBet to accept wagers," Weiss said.
Beulah owner Charles Ruma filed suit against TVG and Breeders' Cup, contending that an agreement precluding pari-mutuel wagering on the Breeders' Cup through interactive television, online, and interactive voice-response telephone wagering systems other than TVG is a restraint of trade.
At the time the TVG agreement was reached, Ken Kirchner, director of simulcasting for Breeders' Cup, said the deal affects only interactive wagering tied to television, online, and automated telephone systems.
In 1999, Breeders' Cup handled about $4.5 million through account wagering services, while total handle topped $100 million. John Hindman, director of communications for TVG, said there is no handle projection, at least for this year.
Officials couldn't say what effect the deal would have on account-wagering providers in future years should TVG expand it scope as planned.
The deal with TVG also affects Youbet.com, which offers computer-based automated betting. "Customers would be excluded via the Youbet platform, but Youbet customers are customers of Ladbroke's Call-a-Bet system, so they could use Ladbroke's 800 number to wager," Kirchner said.
In making the announcement, Breeders' Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr. said: "TVG is our choice to develop interactive wagering because it possesses strong marketing resources, professional programming and promotion, several operational proprietary interactive wagering platforms, the desire to draw new fans to the Breeders' Cup and, importantly, the commitment to support the racing industry through source market fees -- a fair revenue- sharing plan for proceeds from interactive Breeders' Cup wagering."