07/01/2009 11:00PM

Del Mar near deals on account wagers

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Del Mar officials are nearing the completion of negotiations to offer betting on its races on the four major account-wagering companies for the upcoming season, which begins on July 22.

The track's executive vice-president, Craig Fravel, said on Wednesday the track intends to offer betting through TVG, Twinspires.com, Xpressbet, and Youbet.com as well as Delmarbets.com, a recently launched account-wagering service operated by Xpressbet.

"We haven't finalized our deals yet, but we're hoping that will be the plan," Fravel said.

Last year, TVG and Youbet.com were the only account-wagering companies offering bets on Del Mar races. A one-year experiment allowing all major California tracks to be taken by all account-wagering operators was in place from the fall of 2007 to the end of the 2008 Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting, but was not continued during the 2008 Del Mar meeting because of a contract dispute.

At the time, Del Mar officials expressed frustration that the experiment had ended.

With a full range of account-wagering companies taking bets on Del Mar this year, Fravel said the track is hoping that handle will "hold its own" compared to last year despite a soft economy. In addition, he said the terms of the contract offer "a little more favorable compensation rate for us" regarding revenue to the track and for purses.

Fravel said that TVG is likely to hold exclusive broadcast rights for the upcoming Del Mar meeting, but "we haven't inked the final deal."