Updated on 03/14/2012 12:41PM

Betfair makes deal for naming rights at Hollywood Park


Betfair has reached an agreement with Hollywood Park that will give the exchange-wagering company naming rights to the racetrack and provide for “major technology, facility, and infrastructure upgrades” at the Inglewood, Calif., oval, according to a release from both companies.

Under the five-year agreement, the track will be known as Betfair Hollywood Park, and two areas of the track will now be known as the “Betfair Club” and the “Betfair Lounge.” Betfair, which owns Television Games Network, also will continue to hold the exclusive rights to the broadcast of Hollywood Park’s races and will invest in upgrades to the facility, the release said.

A spokesman for Betfair said terms of the deal would not be disclosed.

Betfair is currently attempting to strike a deal with racetracks and horsemen in California to allow for exchange wagering, a type of betting that it pioneered in the United Kingdom more than a decade ago. A law allowing for the practice was passed in California in fall 2010, effective May, 2012. Although exchange wagering has received a lukewarm reception from some California racetrack operators, Betfair has yet to come to terms on an agreement, largely because of resistance from horsemen, who have said that the company’s business model does not provide for adequate compensation.

In the release, Betfair said that the facility upgrades would be coupled with marketing initiatives designed to bring younger demographics to Hollywood Park. Betfair also said that it would “introduce advanced graphics packages” to Hollywood’s broadcast signal and “enhance the user experience and data available from the product.”

Jack Liebau, president of Hollywood Park, said in the release that “partnering with Betfair to modernize the product will benefit California racing,” and he called exchange wagering a “possibly transformative technological change for horse racing.”