Breeders' Cup, TVG Worked Out Wagering Deal With Beulah Park

Breeders' Cup Ltd. and the TV Games Network allowed Beulah Park's Winticket.com interactive wagering subsidiary to accept bets on the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs after the owner of the Ohio racetrack filed a lawsuit just days before the championship.

On Friday, TVG chief executive officer Mark Wilson and Breeders' Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr., traveled to Grove City, Ohio, to meet with Beulah Park owner Charlie Ruma, who contended an exclusive contract between TVG and the Breeders' Cup for interactive wagering rights constituted restraint of trade.

Beulah Park general manager Mike Weiss said Winticket.com secured the rights to offer wagering through its automated account-wagering system, but the terms were not disclosed. He referred questions to Ruma, who couldn't be reached for comment.

"We met (Nov. 3) to implement a licensing agreement for the Breeders' Cup races that was in the interest of Ohio racing fans," Van Clief said.

The Breeders' Cup-TVG exclusivity deal, announced in October, generated controversy with other account-wagering providers. After some discussion, TVG, through Churchill Downs, mailed letters to all providers explaining they could accept wagers on the Cup races through their voice-activated systems only if they agreed to the terms of the transfer of TVG's contract rights. Patent rights weren't on the table.

Breeders' Cup agreed to pay providers' license fees to TVG, though as of Nov. 6 it couldn't be determined if providers other than Winticket.com took advantage of the arrangement. Wilson couldn't be reached for comment.

Beulah operates Winticket.com through its Ohio TAB (Telephone Account Betting) service. Weiss said total handle Nov. 4 through Winticket.com was $47,692, and that Ohio TAB handled $87,708. A breakdown of money wagered on the Breeders' Cup races wasn't available.

Most Popular Stories