Edited press release
James Burk and Gary Sproule have been named chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Youbet.com, the company announced July 9.
Separately, the company said it doesn’t intend to fill the general counsel position vacated earlier this year by Scott Solomon. Youbet.com staff lawyer Dan Perini, who has been with the company since 2006, will remain in his current role as assistant general counsel and coordinate legal matters with outside counsel and with senior management.
“These personnel moves are designed to help Youbet address needs arising from the rapid growth of Youbet’s online business, the evolving state of content distribution in the horse racing industry, the resolution of major legal and regulatory issues, and the integration of United Tote’s worldwide totalizator business,” Youbet.com chief executive officer Charles Champion said. “Our growth strategies are built around customer acquisition and retention, cost control, and yield management. In that context, we have to be diligent about our content and distribution partnerships, our service delivery and support apparatus, and our cost efficiency. With Gary leading operations and Jim taking the helm in finance, our management team is now aligned to address these opportunities and challenges for the near and longer term.”
Sproule has been with Youbet.com since May 2002 when Champion, then recently appointed to lead the company, asked him to join a turnaround effort that resulted in the formation of the business model that has made Youbet.com a leading advance deposit wagering company. In his role as CFO, Sproule broadened the investor base and helped guide the company through several key capital initiatives, including the acquisitions of phone wagering subsidiary IRG and diversified technology provider United Tote.
Burk joins Youbet.com following successful turns as CFO for Palace Entertainment and United Cinemas International, as well as an executive at Vivendi Universal. With Palace, a private-equity owned firm with publicly held debt, Burk managed finance, treasury, information systems, business analysis and planning, forecasting, SEC reporting, and SOX implementation. Palace is the largest owner and operator of water parks and family entertainment centers in the U.S.
Prior to joining Youbet.com last year, Perini was director of business affairs for Anschutz Entertainment Group, where he was responsible for legal affairs for the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles. From 2000 to 2004, he was assistant general counsel for the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs.