Stephen Burn, the CEO of TVG and Betfair, said that his company has already spent 10 million dollars on the development of a U.S.-based exchange wagering site for horse racing
Speaking Wednesday afternoon (December 7) at the Racing and Gaming Symposium in Tucson, Arizona, Burn said that his company, the world's leader in person-to-person betting, is looking for active participants within the industry to move forward.
"One of the things apparent to me now is that there is a crisis in our industry. When the patient is dying you need to work on solutions and not bleed the patient."
"We're going to put together a coalition of the willing and look to collaborate and put the customer first. We need to put it out in the market and see if it works."
Burn said Betfair is proposing an exchange wagering site with a 10 per cent takeout, versus the three to five per cent takeout rates offered overseas.
"For it to work it needs the racing industry to work with a pricing model that puts the customer first," said Burn. "We put forward a 10 per cent commission structure. The proposition we have is that for every dollar we earn, we want to give the sport two dollars."
Burn pointed to legislation in California that will open up that state to exchange betting in the near future.
"We've so far spent over 10 million dollars to create a unique exchange for U.S. racing. Racing should recognize that there's a train coming with relaxed legislation on online betting and racing better make sure it doesn't get left behind."
Burn warned that the consequences of inaction are dire.
"Frankly it's disastrous, it's catastrophic. If we depend on slot machines rather than look at ourselves to create the answer, that's a disastrous approach."