12/14/2010 10:37AM

Betfair income down for six-month period ending Oct. 31


Betfair, the British-based exchange wagering company that owns Television Games Network, had net income of $10.7 million in the six months ended Oct. 31, a $1.6 million decline from the net profit the company posted in the comparable period last year, according to financial statements released by Betfair on Tuesday.

Revenue in the six-month period was $336.8 million, a 27 percent increase when compared to revenue of $265.3 million in the same period last year. Betfair had $281.4 million in cash at the end of the period, with no debt, according to the statements.

TVG had revenue of $30.5 million in the six-month period, up 16.9 percent compared to revenue of $26.1 million in the same period last year, according to the financial statements. The company’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization – a figure that companies use to measure a type of cash flow – was a loss of $1.8 million in the six-month period, up from a loss of $1.4 million last year.

Betfair has been aggressively lobbying U.S. statehouses for the legalization of exchange wagering, which allows two or more players to bet against each other on a line set by one of the players. So far, legislation supported by the company that would allow exchange wagering in California as of 2012 has passed into law, and additional efforts in New Jersey are supported by the racing industry there. It remains unclear if Betfair’s type of betting would violate federal prohibitions on bookmaking.

As in the New Jersey bills, the California legislation will require an exchange-wagering operator to reach an agreement on revenue splits from the practice before betting can begin.

“We are actively engaging with regulators and horse racing industry participants to progress this opportunity,” Betfair said in the financial statements.