Compromise Reached on California Bill

Bill would permit exchange betting and increase takeout on exotic wagers.

A compromise has apparently been reached that would forestall the implementation of exchange betting until at least 2012, according to the Pasadena Star-News.

The newspaper reported the compromise in controversial legislation that would have a major impact on wagering came as the state Assembly entered its final week. In addition to permitting exchange betting, the bill would also increase the takeout on exotic wagers and provide incentives for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held in California on a permanent basis.

Under the compromise, the California Horse Racing Board would have 20 months to make rules and regulations before exchange wagering could take place, according to the Star-News.

Exchange wagering facilitates online action allowing bettors to back, for instance, a horse to lose, or allow head-to-head bets between bettors. It could even allow wagering to occur during the running of a race. Popularized in Great Britain, the betting exchange idea is supported by the advance deposit wagering and horse racing television network TVG, which is owned by British wagering company Betfair. Exchange wagers would exist apart from the traditional pari-mutuel system.

Magna Developments and the California Thoroughbred Trainers were among the opponents of the bill, which had support from other segments of the horse industry.

Following the changes Aug. 30, the legislation was approved unanimously by two committees and sent to the Assembly for a final vote, according to the Star-News.