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Betinternet.com Targets Europeans Who Want to Bet on US Dog and Horse Races

4 Oct 2000

Betinternet.com plc, an online and telephone sports book based on the Isle of Man, has formed the Euro Off-Track Limited Partnership, a 50-50 partnership with Greyhound Channel Inc. of America. Bettors from outside the US will be able to bet directly into US totes on greyhound and thoroughbred horse races.

The Greyhound Channel, operating from a call center in Portland, Oregon, currently provides live greyhound racing for direct-to-home broadcasting in the US through The Racing Network and an Internet tote wagering service. The Greyhound Channel is owned by Derby Lane, a dog track in St. Petersburg, Florida.

As part of Euro Off-Track, the Greyhound Channel will provide live broadcasts to European betting shops and casinos, offering greyhound and horse races from more than 30 US tracks.

Betinternet expects the new service to start at the end of this year. Initially the races will be transmitted by satellite, and later via the Internet. Euro Off-Track also expects to transmit live greyhound racing from international tracks into the US.

Betinternet said the partnership will also create a European hub and wagering communications center, using an Amtote Spectrum System and replicating the Greyhound Channel's existing US system. This will enable real-time links directly into US Totes. Euro Off-Track will retain a proportion of turnover (handle) generated through the hub.

Vincent Caldwell, chairman of betinternet, said in a statement: "This is a tremendous opportunity for betinternet as the links with GCI give our customers direct access to US Totes and expand our range of existing services. In addition we will be able to develop global strategic partnerships with other betting service providers throughout the world and at a stroke create a major international presence for betinternet."

Betinternet does not accept wagers from residents of the Isle of Man or the United Kingdom.

Also this week, betinternet reported preliminary results for the 12 months ending May 31. The company lost £1.04 million on turnover of £11.7 million and wagering revenue of £410,245. (Turnover, called handle in the US, is the amount of money wagered.) The loss was attributed to "substantial investment in technological infrastructure and marketing."

Turnover has increased since the end of the fiscal year, the company said, and is now running at £1.3 million a week. It said it's accepting bets from 85 countries on a range of sports, including golf, rugby, American Football, ice hockey, basketball, gaelic football, and Formula 1, as well as international greyhound and horse racing.

One of betinternet's goals was to reduce its reliance on horse racing. The company said it's done that, with horse racing now accounting for less than 40 percent of its turnover, compared to 90 percent a year ago.

"Betting on soccer now represents approximately 40 percent of turnover," the company said in a statement. "The European Soccer Championships during the summer enabled the Company to combine with Eurosport TV to provide Eurosport viewers with the ability to bet 'in running' (i.e. during the match) on those matches given live coverage by the Eurosport channel."

The company said it's launched its own Far East Web site, www.fadainternet.com, a sports information portal supported by a team of Cantonese and Mandarin speakers.

Betinternet went public in May 2000. It's listed on the Alternative Investment Market in London.

 
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