"An important factor in Youbet's year-over-year handle growth is our ability to leverage high-profile racing events like the Triple Crown series into opportunities to attract significant new customer sign-ups, with an emphasis on the tech-savvy 21-40 age group," Champion said. "In addition, Youbet's new marketing programs--Youbet.net and Youbet Advantage--were successfully launched in April and contributed to increased awareness of our platform, new customer sign-ups, and handle growth in the second quarter of 2006."
On the heels of increased revenue growth from International Racing Group, Youbet.com reported a record second-quarter net income of $2.2 million for the period that ended June 30. The figure is up from $1.3 million in the second quarter of 2005.Youbet.com's total revenue rose about 69% to $39.6 million from $23.5 million in the same period a year ago. In addition to year-over-year improvements in Youbet.com's online account wagering and revenue growth from IRG, the company also saw growth from United Tote Co., which it acquired in February.In a statement, Youbet.com chairman, president, and chief executive officer Chuck Champion said: "Youbet achieved record levels of combined handle, total revenue, and net income in the second quarter of 2006. Our operating results reflect the benefit of our acquisitions of IRG and United Tote and our innovative product offerings across all three operating segments. To put our year-to-date growth into perspective, our net income for the first six months of 2006 already approximates the level achieved from operations for all of 2005 despite higher share-based compensation expense and the legal and financing-related fees and expenses we did not incur last year."Youbet purchased IRG, an offshore betting outlet with an Oregon hub that offers rebates to typically high-end customers, last June. For three months, IRG handled $91.9 million compared to last year's figure of $11.5 million.Champion said IRG's strong quarter can be attributed to its computer robotic wagering test program, which the Oregon Racing Commission approved for customer testing. Besides handle increases at IRG, Youbet.com recorded a solid second-quarter as handle increased 15.2% to $125.2 million.