07/16/2004 12:00AM

Colonial seeks state exclusivity


The state of Virginia has become another front in the territorial wars of account-wagering with the licensing of a telephone and Internet betting operation for the state's only racetrack, Colonial Downs.

Colonial's account-wagering operation, run by Philadelphia Park, was licensed last month and began operating last week. The operation is the only account-wagering company in the state to receive a license, making it illegal for a resident to open an account with any other account-wagering company.

But several account-wagering sites, including Youbet.com and the sites affiliated with AmericaTab, have allowed bettors in Virginia to open accounts in the past, according to their websites and officials at Colonial. The Colonial officials said they expect to ask the racing commission or attorney general to shut down those accounts next week, according to Ian Stewart, the track's president.

Officials at AmericaTab and Youbet.com did not return phone calls on Friday.