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Demystifying Exchange Wagering

Published: December 1, 2011 2:17 pm ET

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The concept of exchange wagering confuses some. Others wonder how the racetrack, exchange operator and successful punter make money off the wagering venture. With exchange wagering set to become legal in California this coming May, here are a few of the elements which could make the wagering platform enticing to many.

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle has attempted to break down some of the main ideas in regard to how punters, track operators and exchange wagering operators cash in with the wagering concept.

The report explains that the exchange-wagering provider --- in the case of the San Francisco Chronicle article, Betfair --- would allow punters to bet directly against each other (one punter would 'lay' a bet, and whoever wanted to accept it has the right to do so). In this case, since Betfair would be the 'broker' of the wager, it has proposed to take a 10 per cent commission on the wager, with two-thirds of that 10 per cent going to the racetrack operator.

The article has quoted Betfair's Stephen Burn as saying that his company is looking to be able to allow horse racing punters to wager on the outcome after the race has already started. He also stated that a healthy horse racing industry is still of paramount importance to everyone involved.

"From our perspective, unless there's a healthy horse racing industry ... no matter how great our betting product is, people won't want to bet on it. You have to have viable, sustainable horse racing industry."

(With files from the San Francisco Chronicle)

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