Record Wagering Through Oregon Hubs

Record Wagering Through Oregon Hubs
Photo: TVG
TVG's third quarter handle accounted for over a 33% wagered through the Oregon hubs.

Fueled by a record total from TVG, wagers handled through Oregon hubs jumped 19.7% for the third quarter of 2007, according to data released by the state’s racing commission.

Total handle from seven wagering entities operating in the state hit $445,788,221, up from the $372,525,644 accumulated during the same period of 2006. TVG, which handled $151,407,372 in the three-month period of July, August, and September accounted for a third of the final tally.

“Our record handle demonstrates the value our customers find in our partner tracks, state-of-the art account wagering platforms, and broad television distribution,” TVG general manager David Nathanson said in a statement. “We couldn't be more pleased.”

Oregon’s total for TVG is about $3 million more than the record $148.5 million the company said it handled in its financial third quarter. Gordon Tallman, supervisor of account wagering hubs for the Oregon Racing Commission, said different totals can result because companies often use a different time period for their financial periods than the state, which works on straight three-month calendar increments.

The gross handle total is also a record for hubs operating in the state, which has been releasing figures since 2000. The previous record of $445,106,894 was set in the second quarter of this year.

Youbet.com kicked in with $133,336,581 during the quarter, clearly a record for the company through its Oregon hub. But comparison figures are skewed because previous to the second quarter of this year, Youbet.com also handled wagers through a hub in California.

Youbet.com’s off-shore entity, International Racing Group, saw a year-over-year decline of 23.6% to $72,493,291. In reporting its third-quarter earnings, Youbet.com said the decline in IRG handle was attributed to loss of content now under the TrackNet Media Group umbrella of Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment Corp. The federal investigation in which IRG is involved did not occur until after the third quarter ended.

Lack of content is also blamed for the hit realized by AmericaTab in its first full quarter of operation under its new owner, CDI, which completed the acquisition in the second quarter of the year. AmericaTab, which posted $56,789,575 in wagers in the third quarter of last year, was part of the new Churchill Downs Technology Initiatives Co. that handled $39,453,061 in the most recent quarter. CDTIC also includes CDI's new advance deposit wagering entity, Twinspires.com.

Since Twinspires.com and AmericaTab both operate under the same license, individual totals aren’t available, Tallman said.

CDI president and chief executive officer Bob Evans said in a Nov. 8 conference call the company was pleased with the effort of its new initiative in the face of a challenging environment.

"Our ADW business did exceptionally well in the third quarter, which was a pleasant surprise since our access to content … was at its weakest point,” Evans said. “We did not have Calder at all during the quarter and only picked up Arlington in early August. And we did not have premier tracks such as Belmont, Saratoga, or Del Mar during the quarter. TVG and Youbet, through Youbet's content sublicensing agreement with TVG, had this content during (the quarter).”

Evans noted the current content lineup is much healthier, what with the inclusion of content from Churchill Downs and Fair Grounds, as well Hollywood Park and Bay Meadows, which CDI acquired rights to recently in a swap-out agreement with TVG. Santa Anita Park will come aboard in late December, and Gulfstream Park and Oaklawn Park meets will run in the first quarter of 2008.

XpressBet.com, which is the ADW arm of MEC, handled $31,899,704 in the quarter, up 12.2% from the $28,429,298 wagered in the third quarter of 2006.

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