11/03/2005 12:00AM

CHRB urging account change


XpressBet and TVG, two of the nation's largest account-wagering companies, were urged by the California Horse Racing Board on Thursday to develop ways for both services to offer betting on all California racetracks.

Currently, XpressBet holds an exclusive agreement to offer betting on Golden Gate Fields and the Santa Anita winter meeting. The two racetracks and XpressBet are owned by Magna Entertainment. XpressBet presents its racing through the HorseRacing TV network. TVG, the more widely distributed of the two, holds an exclusive agreement to offer betting on Hollywood Park, Del Mar, the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting, Fairplex Park, and Bay Meadows.

The exclusive agreements have forced bettors to hold two accounts to be able to bet on all races in California. Racing board officials have insisted for years that the two groups end exclusive agreements.

Thursday, Ron Luniewski, the president of XpressBet, said discussions could be held soon to allow TVG to offer betting on Santa Anita's winter meeting, which starts on Dec. 26.

"We plan on entering discussions with TVG on ways to cooperate and get them the signal and get HRTV some of their content," Luniewski said.

Commissioner Richard Shapiro urged a solution, saying the exclusive agreements were preventing the state from maximizing potential purse revenue.

"We want to present races on all channels for all tracks," Shapiro said. "I would strongly ask that you pursue that."