The Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) has decided to defer a vote on betting exchange wagering in the state until 2013.
The decision was taken at a TOC board meeting on 1 June 2012 and is a major blow to Betfair’s plans in the United States. Betfair had been anticipating being able to offer betting exchanges in California in 2012. Back in 2009 Betfair acquired TV Games Network (TVG) for US$ 50 million. TVG offers interactive wagering on racing in the US and also broadcasts US races through its racing channel.
In 2011 Betfair-TVG funded a study into the effects that betting exchanges would have on horseracing in the US.
The report found the introduction of betting exchanges would attract new gamblers to racing, increase price competitiveness with offshore betting operations, stimulate in-running betting, and complement the existing US tote betting system.
“The concept of exchange wagering has been a polarizing issue among the stakeholders in California racing, and this action [of delaying a vote until 2013] will give us additional time to study this betting alternative and consider if it is in the best interests of the industry in our state,” said Mike Pegram, Chairman of the TOC.
We will continue to seek alternative revenue sources and have not slammed the door closed on the concept of exchange wagering. We are simply putting this contentious issue on the back burner until we can analyze it further and, hopefully, build a consensus within the industry,” said Lou Raffetto, President of TOC.