11/15/2013 12:04PM

Global Betting Exchange to operate NYRA account-wagering operation


The New York Racing Association has chosen Global Betting Exchange, an Irish company, to run its Internet account-wagering operation, four months after the initial selection of the company for the same contract was scuttled by state regulators.

In a statement, NYRA said that Global Betting Exchange was selected following the release of a request for proposals to run the account-wagering operation, called NYRA Rewards, and after consultation with state regulators. In June, after NYRA initially named the company as its new account-wagering operator, state regulators at the Franchise Oversight Board said NYRA violated unspecified provisions of the state’s open-bidding process and ordered the association to rebid the contract.

Eric Wing, a spokesman for NYRA, said that seven companies responded to the new request for proposals. The contract will need to be approved by state regulators. Several of the association’s board members had vigorously defended the company’s bidding procedures when state regulators objected to the process last summer.

NYRA chief executive Chris Kay said in a statement that the company’s account-wagering customers “will benefit from having one of the most technologically advanced companies in the industry create a new platform that will make online wagering easier and more efficient and enjoyable.”

NYRA identified Global Betting Exchange as its new online account-wagering operator one day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that will allow the state’s gambling commission to approve rebate programs for the state’s account-wagering providers for a year or more. The bill was passed by the legislature in June, and Cuomo faced a Nov. 13 deadline to sign the bill.

In a note, Cuomo said that he signed the bill with the understanding that the legislature will address several technical changes when it reconvenes in 2014. The legislation that Cuomo signed will not go into effect until May.

David O’Rourke, NYRA’s vice president of corporate development, said that the bill will not change how NYRA awards rebates. He said the impact of the bill will be “to streamline the approval process” for the programs, which give cash awards and other benefits to customers of account-wagering operations based on wagering handle.

Most of New York’s racetracks and offtrack betting companies operate account-wagering programs that award rebates.