Oregon Calls Meeting to Discuss IRG Licensing
by Ryan Conley
Date Posted: 10/18/2007 5:52:51 PM
Last Updated: 10/20/2007 1:27:02 PM

The Oregon Racing Commission is looking into whether there are any statutory licensing actions to be taken against International Racing Group, which has had $1.5 million in funds seized by federal authorities.

New ORC executive director Randy Evers said Oct. 17 that his agency has attorneys looking into rules and regulations associated with the licenses of advance deposit wagering companies. Along with several ADWs, IRG and parent company Youbet.com are licensed with Oregon and operate wagering hubs in the state.
 
The Oregon Racing Commission has called a special meeting for Oct. 19 where they will discuss IRG.

“We are aware of the situation, and aware that if you are an account wagering holder (with IRG), that you can not withdraw your funds, and that is a concern to us,” said Evers, a 30-year veteran with the Oregon Department of Revenue who assumed his current ORC position six weeks ago.

“We don’t want to have an overly knee-jerk reaction … we want to be fair to everyone, including Youbet and IRG … but we are extremely concerned about what is going on.”

IRG will have an opportunity to discuss its situation, Evers said. The commission will then go into executive session and discuss  possible actions.

Three IRG bank accounts in Nevada were seized by federal officials in conjunction with an Oct. 4 search of Youbet headquarters in Woodland Hills, Calif. IRG has continued to operate, but customers are being told they can neither withdraw nor deposit funds.

Youbet chief executive officer Charles Champion held a brief teleconference Oct. 18  where he recounted previous information about the investigation, which is being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas. Agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency affiliated with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, conducted the Oct. 4 search at Youbet’s headquarters.

Champion, who reiterated the company’s position on integrity and security, took no questions from analysts, media, and other interested listeners, saying there was no additional information to provide. Previously, Youbet claimed the federal investigation was looking into the activities of IRG customers, and possibly a former owner of the off-shore entity.

Youbet is among 10,000 outlets scheduled to carry signals of the Oct. 26-27 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Monmouth Park, but IRG is not.

“IRG is not being extended a contract,” said Breeders’ Cup consultant Ken Kirchner, who added there wasn’t evidence to deny Youbet a signal. “Clearly there are some issues with the federal investigation that forced us to not allow wagering from that site.”

Youbet and IRG are licensed separately with the Oregon Racing Commission.


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