11/19/2007 12:00AM

Major account-bet shops gain

EmailTotal handle through the four largest domestic account-wagering providers in the United States increased approximately 10 percent in the third quarter of 2007 compared with third-quarter results last year, although the results were a mixed bag for the companies.

According to figures provided by the Oregon Racing Commission and financial reports, the growth in wagering figures was led by Television Games Network, which had wagering of $151,407,372 in the quarter, up 19.1 percent from last year's third-quarter result of $127,103,014. Youbet.com's handle rose from $118.4 million to $133 million, up 12.3 percent, and betting through XpressBet, owned by Magna Entertainment Corp., increased 12.2 percent, from $28,429,298 to $31,899,704.

Betting through the AmericaTab family of companies, which are owned by Churchill Downs, along with Churchill's twinspires.com, declined markedly, however, from $56,789,575 to $39,453,061, a decline of 30.5 percent. Twinspires.com was launched in the second quarter of 2007.

All of the figures except Youbet's third-quarter handle of 2006 were provided by the Oregon Racing Commission, which licenses the hubs. Youbet's figures from 2006 were taken from its third-quarter financial results for comparison purposes because Youbet also sent wagers through a hub in California last year.

Handle through account-wagering companies has generally been increasing at double-digit rates for all account-wagering providers, but a disagreement between the providers resulted in many of the companies losing the rights to carry certain signals.

The disagreement was spurred in part by Churchill Downs's entry into the market through the acquisition of the AmericaTab companies and the launch of its twinspires.com in the second quarter of 2006, along with a partnership with Magna to sell simulcast signals. As a result of the disagreement and the acquisitions, AmericaTab, which had formerly been owned by a number of Ohio racetracks, lost the right to carry the signals from Del Mar and Saratoga Race Course, the most popular wagering signals in the third quarter.