Oregon Hub Handle Up $53 Million in 2004

Five account-wagering hubs in Oregon handled a total of $883 million last year, up about 6% from the 2003 figure. Meanwhile, fourth-quarter handle for 2004 was down slightly from the same period in 2003, according to Oregon Racing Commission statistics.

For all of 2003, the five hubs handled $830 million, so the gain was about $53 million in 2004. Four of the wagering hubs--AmericaTAB, TV Games Network, US Off-Track, and Youbet.com--handled more in 2004 than in 2003.

The Racing Channel, also known as Oneclickbetting.com, had a marked decline in handle because of curtailed wagering on United States races by bettors in Great Britain, though owner Greenwood Racing is working on a new deal to get British money into the U.S. pari-mutuel pools, according to Daily Racing Form.

In the fourth quarter of 2004, the hubs generated handle of $224.3 million, down from $226.9 million in the final quarter of 2003. TVG led the way in the fourth quarter of last year with handle of $81.8 million, followed by Youbet.com ($76.6 million), AmericaTAB ($33.5 million), Oneclickbetting.com ($27.6 million), and US Off-Track ($4.7 million).

All but Oneclickbetting.com showed handle gains in the fourth quarter of 2004 compared with the fourth quarter of 2003.

The state racing commission receives one-quarter of 1% of money wagered through the hubs as a pari-mutuel tax. One-third of the amount is given to the state general fund, and the remaining two-thirds to the Pari-Mutuel Industry Development Fund, primarily for live racing programs in Oregon.

In 2004, about $2.2 million was generated by the hub tax, up from $2.07 million in 2003.