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Autotote and Arena Leisure Announce Joint Venture for Internet Wagering

13 February 2000

Autotote Corp. (Amex: TTE) and Arena Leisure plc (London: ARE) have formed a joint venture to develop, market, and operate an Internet wagering service for pari-mutuel betting on horseracing.

The service will permit horseplayers to access historical and real-time information for handicapping, place bets on virtually any race in the world, watch races live through video streaming and collect their winnings in real time over the Internet.

The companies said the product will support the globalization of racing and will enable licensed pari-mutuel operators to personalize their web portals by language, currency, desired information, racetracks, desired bets and betting menus.

"Our initial marketing focus will be on international jurisdictions where Internet wagering is permitted and where we have an extensive customer base,'' Lorne Weil, chief executive of Autotote, said in a statement. "International sales will take place while U.S. legislation enabling wagering on horse racing is pending."

Graham Parr, Arena's chief executive, said, "This commercial partnership will support Arena's dedicated Internet horseracing and betting website, to be launched later this year, by providing on-line pari-mutuel wagering services. Our technical team has been building a robust and customer-friendly Internet wagering tool for the past 18 months.''

In addition to Internet wagering, gamblers will be able to bet via secure "closed loop" networks from PCs, mobile phones, and interactive digital television.

The two firms said that, if passed by the U.S. Congress, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act (the "Kyl Bill") will permit wagering where authorized via the Internet on horseracing. The Autotote/Arena Internet wagering system will provide an immediate opportunity for Autotote's U.S. racetrack customers to place bets via the Internet if the Kyl Bill is enacted, they said.

Autotote provides computerized wagering equipment, computer software, facilities management and satellite broadcast services for on-track, off-track and inter-track wagering, lotteries and legalized sports betting facilities. The company said it processes 65 percent of all wagers from racetracks in North America.

Arena, headquartered in London, England, operates five racecourses that the company said account for 18 percent of all British horseracing dates.

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