11/01/2010 2:21PM

Overseas company buys interest in U.S.-based betting site

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Stan James PLC, an Internet betting operator based in Gibraltar, has bought a majority share in racing2day.com, a small U.S. account-wagering operator, the two parties announced on Monday.

The acquisition follows recent moves by several other international firms to expand into the U.S. as federal and state legislators have begun to consider relaxing the U.S.’s relatively strict gambling laws. Although horserace betting is currently the only legal type of Internet gambling in the U.S., a federal bill that would regulate gambling on the Internet has begun to draw increasing support, and, earlier this year, California legalized exchange-wagering through a bill that will take effect in 2012.

Under the deal, Stan James purchased a 50.1 percent stake in Racing 2 Day, according to Vincent Caldwell, the president of the account-wagering company. Caldwell would not release the exact price for the stake, but said it was a “multi-million dollar” deal.

Racing 2 Day was launched approximately two years ago, and in the first six months of this year, its customers bet just over $1.1 million through the site, according to figures provided by the Oregon Racing Commission, which licensed Racing 2 Day. In comparison, the two largest account-wagering companies, Television Games Network and twinspires.com, had handle of $310.7 million and $257.3 million, respectively, in the first six months of this year.

Television Games Network is also owned by a foreign company, Betfair, a pioneer of exchange wagering. Betfair has been lobbying aggressively for exchange-wagering legislation in U.S. states, and has supported the federal bill to open up gambling on the Internet.

Stan James PLC operates a website that offers betting on horseracing, sports, poker, and casino games at fixed odds. Caldwell says that the company plans to allow its fans to wager into U.S. commingled pools in the future through the Racing 2 Day stake.