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Betfair Gets Centre Stage

Published: December 8, 2009 10:41 am ET

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The English betting exchange Betfair, moving inexorably ahead in its quest for a role in American racing, got centre stage as the opening act in today’s University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program symposium this morning.

Betfair's U.S. president, Gerard Cunningham, told how the company, which now owns TVG and is making deals with tracks for transmission of U.S. signals overseas, is planning for a widening role in the North American market.

Executives of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association were reported by Thoroughbred Times as meeting with Betfair officials today to negotiate their position in exchange proceeds.

Dave Besler, executive director of the Ohio HBPA, was quoted by Thoroughbred Times writer Frank Angst as saying that horsemen had worked with Betfair early on, but Betfair was less responsive now, opting instead to negotiate with tracks “and then telling horsemen what the deal is.”

What the deal is for the tracks remains an issue for most.

Angst also reported that HBPA attendees were “excited” about representatives of demonstrating software that would allow tracks to establish a process where Internet bets would be registered as on-track wagers, going first through track pools, supposedly producing greater revenue for tracks and horsemen.

(Harness Tracks of America)

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