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Vicky Nolan
 

Interactive Race Wagering in North America - Television Games Network

28 March 2000

Television Games Network (TVG), a subsidiary of TV Guide, added its name last July to the short list of interactive horseracing providers in North America, alongside Youbet.com, TrackPower and The Racing Network. As part of basic cable and satellite services, TVG reaches 4.5 million homes, while offering betting services through its Oregon wagering hub to residents of Oregon, Kentucky and Maryland. Over the next two years, the company hopes to expand wagering services to as many as 20 states.

What makes TVG standout compared to other services, explained John Hindman, TVG's director of communications, is:

  • TVG and Fox, as opposed to its competitors, who offer simulcasting, put together a professionally broadcast TV show which offers feature stories and tutorials, in addition to the race;
  • instead of limiting itself select viewers, TVG wanted to reach a broad number of people through accessibility (TVG is part of basic cable and satellite packages);
  • punters can wager in several ways, including over the telephone, using the remote control and, coming this spring, betting online; and
  • TVG offers exclusive content with racing coverage of some of the best racetracks around--a fact that has caused some contention in the horseracing business.

TVG , according to Hindman, has a wide target market, including all ages and genders of professionals and casual fans. The company solicits new clients by advertising in several horseracing trade publications, along with direct marketing through the DISH satellite services.

Part of TVG's responsible wagering approach includes a stipulation that credit card payments are only accepted when customers initialize their accounts. Pay-outs are made via direct deposit or check.

URL:

www.televisiongames.com

Address:

12421 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
USA
Ph: 310-689-2500

System:

Programming is available via basic and digital cable, standard satellite with online access through set top boxes and PC.

Fees:

TVG has no charge for basic information, preferring to be widely available as part of basic cable and satellite service.

Benefits:

Current win odds; race results; 5-6 races are broadcast per hour, 12 hours a day for 36 tracks; many exclusive broadcast deals with major NY and CA racetracks; online customers can fully access wagering; past performances; free figures, statistics, etc; and trainers, horses and jockeys can be looked up using a site search engine.

Tracks available:

Founders Circle (Exclusive)
Aqueduct, Jamaica, NY; Arlington International, Arlington Heights, IL; Bay Meadows, San Mateo, CA; Belmont Park, Elmont, NY; Calder Race Course, Miami, FL; Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY; Del Mar, Del Mar, CA; Ellis Park, Henderson, KY; Emerald Downs, Auburn, WA; Fairplex Park, Pomona, CA; Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, FL; Hollywood Park, Inglewood, CA; Hoosier Park, Anderson, IN; Keeneland, Lexington, KY; Laurel Park, Laurel, MD; Lone Star Park, Grand Prairie, TX; Los Alamitos, Los Alamitos, CA; Oak Tree @ Santa Anita, Arcadia, CA; Pimlico, Baltimore, MD; Portland Meadows, Portland, OR; Prairie Meadows, Altoona, IA; Ruidoso Downs, Ruidoso, NM; Saratoga (NYRA), Saratoga Springs, NY; Saratoga-Harness, Saratoga Springs, NY; Suffolk Downs, East Boston, MA; Turf Paradise, Phoenix, AZ; Turfway Park, Florence, KY.

Affiliates

Balmoral Park, Crete, IL; Dover Downs, Dover, DE; Fairmount Park, Collinsville, IL; Fair Grounds, New Orleans, LA; Great Lakes Downs, Muskegon, MI; Louisiana Downs, Bossier City, LA; Maywood Park, Maywood, IL; Northfield Park, Northfield, OH; Pompano Harness, Pompano Beach, FL; Sunland Park, Sunland Park, NM.

Other Agreements

Monticello Raceway, Monticello, NY and Sam Houston Race Park, Houston, TX.

Exceptions::

To wager, customers must reside in states TVG has been licensed, currently KY, MD and OR. Additionally, minimum age is 21.

Partners:

Equibase Company LLC, a major thoroughbred database
AXCIS/Trackmaster, an information provider
A letter of intent was signed with Daily Racing Form, for an online TVG edition.

Wagering:

Customers can place wagers via telephone, PC, standard satellite and digital cable, and interactive television.

Wagering can only be done through a TVG account. Customers can set up an account with a minimum deposit of $50, except in Oregon, which requires a $250 deposit. (TVG operates its own wagering hub in Oregon.)

Currently, only KY, MD and OR residents can wager using TVG's system.

Credit cards are only accepted for initial deposit in account. Wagering accounts can also be set up without a credit card by contacting a TVG telephone operator.

Stock:

TVG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TV Guide, which trades as "TVGIA."

Revenues:

TV Guide, which has invested $100 million in TVG, reported gross revenues of $1,135,305,000 last year. TV Guide trades its stock on the NASDAQ under the symbol "TVGIA." As a wholly-owned subsidiary of TV Guide, TVG is not required to release financial reports.

Interactive Race Wagering in North America - Television Games Network is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Vicky Nolan
Vicky Nolan