With the California Horse Racing Board giving final approval last Friday to regulations for advance deposit wagering, Youbet.com is gearing up to begin taking wagers in the state once it is legal in January 2002. As a result of the CHRB's action, the regulations must go through one more regulatory hurdle before they are implemented. The CHRB must also approve applications for the operators.
"The pending legalization of online and telephone pari-mutuel wagering in California is an important development not only from our perspective as a leading online facilitator, but for the horse racing industry as a whole," Ron Luniewski, co-chief executive officer of Youbet.com said in a statement released by the company. "With California having the largest population of horse racing enthusiasts, we anticipate a great deal of interest and demand for our interactive products from the California audience since there are relatively few venues for wagering within the State."
Luniewski added that Youbet.com is also looking forward to targeting its existing California membership of 2,500, who have been able to retrieve information and content from the Youbet network but have been unable to place wagers through Youbet.
"We have received resounding positive feedback and response from our recent Youbet Network enhancements which should bode well in our California marketing efforts," Luniewski said. "These enhancements include the ability to toggle between Oregon and Pennsylvania wagering accounts and place funds transfers using electronic checks and credit cards, as well as performance improvements that increase the quality and speed of the audio/video feed through our network. Furthermore, we have achieved a favorable resolution with regard to the stipulated judgment against the Company that prevented California Youbet members from wagering through our network. We are now completely clear to service online advance deposit wagering for California subscribers as soon as the regulations become effective and we are licensed."
The CHRB regulations govern pari-mutuel wagering in which account holders establish wagering accounts with CHRB- approved wagering systems that permit them to place wagers via phone or other electronic media.