6 May 2006

Betfair Says US Racing Could Make Millions

Betfair, the rapidly growing exchange-wagering provider based in Great Britain, believes it could provide up to $50 million in new revenue for itself, racetracks, and horsemen by 2008 should it be permitted to operate in the United States.

The company, which now generates about $250 million in revenue a year, has cultivated 500,000 members in four years. It allows players to wager on horses to lose, and offers other "peer-to-peer" bets on just about anything.

The U.S. racing industry has resisted exchange betting. Officials believe Betfair accepts wagers from U.S. residents even though the company said it "does not accept bets from U.S. debit or credit cards."

Christian Hellmers, director of U.S. business development for Betfair, said the service could increase the $134-million annual win wagering market in the U.S. up to 59% if exchange betting was offered to U.S. customers. He said gross revenue could hit $30 million by 2007, and $50 million by 2008.....

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