'Big Four' Yield Mixed 3Q Handle Totals

"Big Four" ADWs reported mixed handle results in the third quarter.

Members aligned on different sides of advance deposit wagering's “Big Four” reported mixed handle results in the third financial quarter amid declining national betting trends.

TVG, Twinspires.com, XpressBet, and Youbet.com combined for an estimated $363.9 million in handle during the period, based on data collected from the state of Oregon, where a hub for the four operations is located, and related company financial disclosures. The total represents about a 2% increase in a year-over-year comparison, and a 10.4% share of total national handle of $3.49 billion, which declined 9.85% during the third quarter, according to Equibase data.

But not every member of the Big Four delivered positive numbers. TVG processed through Oregon its second-highest handle total ever with $141,991,713, but the company’s all-time record of $151,407,373 was attained during the third quarter of 2007, thus yielding a 6.2% decline year-over-year. Youbet.com, which historically has had contractual relationships with TVG, reported an estimated $121,674,000 in handle, or about an 8.7% decline.

Seeing gains on the plus side were TVG and Youbet’s business rivals, Twinspires and XpressBet, whose respective parent companies (Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment Corp.) are partners in TrackNet Media Group. Twinspires and XpressBet processed $56,099,151 and $44,092,900 through the Oregon hub, yielding respective increases of 42.2% and 38.2%.

A record total of nine ADWs participated through the Oregon hub during the quarter, yielding a collective handle of $306,123,868 – on paper yielding a 31.3% decline from the $445,788,222 recorded a year ago. But during the quarter, Youbet processed about $83.8 million of it handle outside of Oregon, according to Gordon Tallman, ORC’s supervisor of account wagering hubs. Also missing was about $72.5 million in handle generated in the third quarter of 2007 by off-shore rebate shop International Racing Group, which was closed earlier this year.

Other individual totals for ADWs included: U.S. Off-Track, $6,799,113 (down 5.1%); and Racing Channel, $15,109,763 (up 50.5%). BetPad, which launched in the fourth quarter of last year, had $3,980,809 in handle while start-up entities AmWest Entertainment and Racing 2 Day had totals of $143,933 and $14,266, respectively.