02/27/2009 1:00AM

Bet processor's sale is explored


Scientific Games Inc., the parent company of one of the three dominant bet-processing companies in the U.S. racing industry, said late Thursday that the company has hired a financial adviser to explore the possibility of selling its racing-related businesses.

In a release and on a conference call Friday morning, officials of Scientific Games said that the adviser has been asked to "evaluate available alternatives" for the bet-processing unit, known as Scientific Games Racing and formerly called Autotote. The company would not comment further on the plan.

"There can be no assurance that the review process will result in the announcement or consummation of any sale or other transaction," the release said.

In financial statements, Scientific Games did not break out the results from its parimutuel unit, which supplies bet-processing machines and services to racetracks. The vast majority of the parent company's revenue is derived from lottery sales.

The three largest bet-processing companies in the United States are Scientific Games Racing, United Tote, and AmTote, which is owned by Magna Entertainment Corp. Bet-processing companies derive their revenue from a small share of the handle, typically around 0.25 percent.