10/13/2009 12:00AM

Illinois board approves Internet betting


CHICAGO - In a meeting Tuesday, the Illinois Racing Board approved applications for licenses from three advance-deposit wagering companies. Beginning immediately, Youbet.com, Inc., Twinspires, and TVG Network can begin accepting bets from Illinois residents.

The Illinois legislature passed an advance-deposit wagering law late this summer, and the legislation was signed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn a few weeks later. Tuesday's IRB hearing dealt only with the licensing of interested ADW providers. Under the law, the ADW companies must have a contract with an Illinois racetrack operator. TVG has partnered with Fairmount Park; Youbet is partnered with Hawthorne Race Course on the Thoroughbred side, and Maywood Park and Balmoral Racecourse on the Standardbred side; and TwinSpires, a part of Churchill Downs Inc., naturally has a contract with Arlington Park, a Churchill track.

Under the new law, any Illinois ADW licensee must offer the signal from every Illinois racetrack. After a state tax and an interstate host fee on the takeout from bets placed on the ADW platforms is paid, the money left over then is roughly split evenly between the ADW provider, the track operator, and local horsemen.