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AmericaTab Gallops Into Online Wagering

29 November 2001

CINCINNATI – Nov. 29, 2001 –As reported by (Cincinnati) Business First: "Last fall, Charlie Ruma placed a bet on the Internet to boost the fortunes of his horse race wagering business. A year later, the president of Grove City-based AmericaTab appears to have hit the jackpot.

"The company this year has pulled in more than $21 million in "handle," the amount bettors have wagered on its system. And subscribers to the service have more than doubled this year to 12,000.

"AmericaTab, which is owned by locally based Beulah Park and River Downs of Cincinnati, wants to take the service national next year by teaming with other tracks that want to take horse racing into cyberspace.

"…With the Internet in his arsenal, Ruma has boosted AmericaTab's monthly wagering into the millions of dollars, including a record $3.6 million in October.

"…Matt Hegarty, a reporter for New York-based Daily Racing Forum, said account wagering is spreading across the industry.

"…According to the Wall Street Journal, about $200 million was wagered on horse racing over the Internet last year, up from $65 million in 1999.

"…Ruma wants AmericaTab to become a national player by establishing relationships with other tracks that would pay to hold a small equity stake in the wagering company. The tracks would create their own Web sites but all of the betting would go through AmericaTab's system.

"The benefit to the affiliates is that they don't have to make an investment to get a system running, and they also receive a percentage of commissions for wagers they created…"

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