Handle Up, Revenue Flat at TVG

Improved handle failed to translate to increased revenue at advance-deposit wagering company TVG Network during the three-month period ending Jan. 31.

In its quarterly report released March 7, Betfair, which owns TVG, reported that handle increased 7% compared with the same quarter last year and wagering revenue improved 8% for the quarter. Despite those gains in handle at the ADW, Betfair reports that lower television revenues for TVG's racing channel and an adverse impact from foreign currency exchange kept revenue flat.

In a conference call with investors and analysts, Betfair chief executive officer Breon Corcoran said the company is keeping an eye on states like Nevada and New Jersey, which have passed legislation to allow Internet wagering. Betfair offers an Internet poker platform in countries where such wagering is allowed.

"We're looking at the gaming stuff with interest but really don't have much to say about it at this stage," said Corcoran. Corcoran noted that Betfair recently received regulatory approval to operate its TVG ADW platform in New Jersey.

Betfair also is pursuing exchange wagering in California but Corcoran said there were no new developments in the state. In November, the California Horse Racing Board approved the wagering form which typically uses an Internet platform to allow bettors to "back" or "lay" wagers for a fee.

At that time, the CHRB also approved a provisional license for Betfair U.S. to operate but the license will not become effective until the state's Office of Administrative Law finalizes exchange wagering rules. In November, CHRB staff estimated that the earliest exchange wagering would launch in the state would be the second half of 2013.

"It hasn't gotten worse but it hasn't gotten better either," Corcoran said in the March 7 conference call.
 

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