USA to See Betting Exchanges Enter the Market?


With Californian law in sight, Betfair's TVG subsidiary is preparing for big entrance

Reports arrived this week that the British online gambling group Betfair may be preparing to enter the US market with its exchange betting product as soon as it gets authorised in California, which may happen as soon as in May 2012, and that it plans to pursue the venture through its US subsidiary TVG.

Apparently, the company has already set up a 75-personnel technical hub in San Francisco, which will help it open betting exchange operations following the Californian bill.

One of the effects of the introduction of betting exchange action into the States could be of much benefit for the declining revenues of U.S. racetracks. It has been assessed by Stephen Burn, the head of the Betfair office in San Francisco: "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 a viable, sustainable horse racing industry."

He also specified that the betting exchange business model enables racing fans to bet against each other, and additionally allows them to bet in ways they can't with traditional wagering.

"You can keep betting in the middle of a race. Betting can continue until the results are posted, so if there's a photo finish, you can keep betting until a result is announced," he underlined.

Involved in the whole story is the California Horse Racing Board which is reportedly cooperating with Betfiair, as well as race tracks, all attempting to nail a deal that will be beneficial for both sides - Betfair would be enabled to scoop profits, and the tracks would gain a substantial cut.

Currently, Betfair is proposing a 10 percent commission on racing wagers, two-thirds of which would be going to the track.

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