04/06/2009 11:00PM

Md. reaches account-wager deal


Maryland's racetracks and its horsemen have reached agreements with three large national account-wagering companies that resolve issues that had threatened to put a stop to betting by account-wagering customers in the state, according to track and horsemen officials.

Alan Foreman, legal counsel for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, said the agreements with twinspires.com, XpressBet, and Youbet.com will run through 2010 after being resolved Tuesday. Foreman would not offer specifics, other than the expiration date.

"It's a very good deal for the horsemen, and it's a very good deal for the [account-wagering] companies," Foreman said.

Last month, the Maryland Racing Commission sent a letter to the three companies, warning that they would be shut down in Maryland if they did not reach an agreement with the horsemen and racetracks. The companies had been taking wagers on races from Laurel and Pimlico - which are owned and operated by the same company, Magna Entertainment Corp. - despite the expiration of a previous agreement. Magna also owns XpressBet and is a partner with Churchill Downs Inc. in a company that buys and sells simulcast signals for their racetracks and Churchill's account-wagering company, twinspires.com.