Gaming Strategy
Featured Stories
Legal News Financial News Casino Opening and Remodeling News Gaming Industry Executives Author Home Author Archives Search Articles Subscribe
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Kevin Smith

On Track - August

21 August 2002

Up and Down Quarter for, the popular Internet site that offers live wagering on horse racing and other events, experienced positive gains in the second quarter of 2002, but still has yet to make a profit. posted healthy figures for its second quarter, with betting handle up 39 percent from $28.4 million in 2001 to a record $39.6 million this year, and increasing monthly. In the six weeks since June 30, handle averaged $3.6 million a week, up from $3.1 million a year ago. The company's net loss dropped, down 21 percent to $2.58 million from $3.25 million a year ago. In its Form 10-QSB filing with the SEC, however, the company reported that it will require additional capital to fund its future cash requirements on a timely basis. The company noted that it suffered significant recurring operating losses and needs to raise additional funds to accomplish its objectives. These matters raise substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue as an ongoing concern, and restructuring may be needed.

Galway Races Create Cash Influx in Ireland

Punters wagered a massive $40million and spent an additional $20million in a marathon week of gambling, drinking and eating at the Galway races earlier this month.

Up to 250,000 turned out to the Ballybrit racecourse for the famous festival.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, the Irish Prime Minister, was one of the first fans to arrive in the City of Tribes for the racing showcase.

The rain came out to welcome Galway's guests but misty and overcast conditions failed to dampen the spirits of the party crowd that descended on the West. The Taoiseach was joined by a number of his Fianna Fail colleagues, including horse-mad finance chief Charlie McCreevy.

Entertainer Paul Daniels and former jockey Lester Piggot are just some of the celebrities who make the races an annual pilgrimage.

Galway has become the longest racing festival on the Irish calendar.

Magna Transforming Pimlico Race Course

Frank Stronach is putting a lot of faith into his latest business plan and if his hunch is right, it could change the way horseracing is seen in the public eye.

Stronach and his Magna Entertainment Corp., are hoping the sport can reclaim its glory by combining old-fashioned hospitality with the wizardry of the communication age.

Magna bought Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park, and plans to convert its big tracks into "destination entertainment centers" that will draw fans with gourmet cafes, boutique shops and rock concerts.

At the same time, it wants to beam its races worldwide via a self-contained network of "new media" that will let players bet from cell phones, laptops and televisions.

To reach its goal, Magna has unflinchingly sunk more than $500 million into a sport whose popularity peaked in the 1940s. In less than four years, it has bought 14 tracks and a telephone betting service; has started its own Internet wagering system; and is investing in an all-racing, all-the-time television network it hopes to have up and running this fall. It is also developing a track in Austria that could distribute American races to Europeans.

British Bookmakers 'Underwhelmed' Latest Deregulation

Thanks to the latest deregulation in Britain, bookmakers can now serve hot food in their betting shops, but many operators aren't rolling out the chafing dishes just yet.

A change in the law means that for the first time, hungry betting-shop punters, previously only able to buy sandwiches at snack bars, could be tucking into cordon bleu cooking when studying the form.

However, with the exception of Ladbrokes' high-tech flagship shop in London's Trafalgar Square, where customers can get free meals under a one-day pilot trial, it seems the rest of the industry is happy to concentrate on its bread-and-butter business (betting, that is).

The culinary revolution has not been to the taste of either William Hill or Coral, and neither trade association, BOLA or BBOA, knew of any of their members planning to have hot food on the menu.

BBOA Chairman Warwick Bartlett said bookmakers have been "underwhelmed" by the deregulatory measure, which was announced by Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell last month following government acceptance of recommendations to liberalize the betting market resulting from Sir Alan Budd's report on the future of gambling.

A New Horse Betting Site

VIP Sports recently announced the successful launch of a new interactive horse betting site offering full card daily thoroughbred racing. accepts bets on races at a wide variety of thoroughbred tracks and was launched to coincide with opening day at both Delmar and Saratoga racetracks in late July.

The site, powered by the new Horsebook system from software supplier Interactive Gaming and Wagering (IGW), incorporates live track information, including scratches, lines and racing news stories.

Attheraces Close to Finalizing Breeders' Cup Deal

Attheraces is poised to sign an agreement granting exclusive rights to a live showing on Sky Digital of all eight races of the Breeders' Cup at Arlington on Oct. 26.

The pending deal, revealed at the 50th annual Round Table conference of U.S. racing organizations at Saratoga, would also allow for "co-mingled wagering" of bets from Britain into the local pari-mutuel betting pools, although the technology currently available will not give British punters access to the hugely popular Pick 6 pool.

Punters wishing to bet into the huge U.S. pari-mutuel pools will be able to do so through the Tote, and Attheraces will be encouraging viewers to do that interactively through a delayed service it hopes to have launched before the Breeders' Cup.

On Track - August is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith