10/15/2007 11:00PM

Ten days out and no BC account betting

EmailBreeders' Cup Ltd. does not currently have a signed simulcasting contract with a single major account-wagering operator in the U.S., the Breeders' Cup and account-wagering companies acknowledged on Tuesday.

The officials all said on Tuesday - 10 days before the event begins on Oct. 26 - that they were in negotiations to resolve outstanding issues and were hopeful that the contracts would be signed by next Friday, the first day of the two-day event this year at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

At issue is a California law that account-wagering operators contend would result in a net loss on any bet made in the state. The account-wagering companies said that the law, which caps the amount of money account-wagering companies can receive from a bet by a California resident, was not an issue in the past because host sites since account-wagering was legalized in California in 2002 had a lower effective takeout rate than Monmouth, minimizing the impact of the law on the account-wagering companies' profitability.

Account wagering, which allows horseplayers to wager at home by computer or telephone, is the only growing segment of the parimutuel market. Clashes between competing companies this year over the control of racetrack signals have frustrated many horseplayers.

The account-wagering companies that do not have a contract include Television Games Network, XpressBet, Youbet.com, Twinspires.com, and the AmericaTab family of operations. Twinspires.com and the AmericaTab companies are owned by Churchill Downs. Last year, $11.2 million was bet on the Breeders' Cup through TVG, Youbet, and AmericaTab.

Scott Daruty, the chief executive of TrackNet, which negotiates simulcasting contracts on behalf of XpressBet and the Churchill account-wagering companies, said the law in California would result in a net loss of 1.5 percent on each bet made by a California resident on a Breeders' Cup race.

"We don't think that makes sense," Daruty said.

John Hindman, a vice president for TVG, acknowledged that the company did not have a signed contract and that the California law was at issue, but declined to comment further.

Last week, officials for the Breeders' Cup and Youbet.com said that they were in dispute over a simulcasting contract because of the law. Contrary to what was reported then, Youbet was not the only account-wagering operator to make an issue out of the law.

Ken Kirchner, a consultant to the Breeders' Cup who negotiates simulcasting contracts, said he believed the issues could be worked out. A law passed this year in California that does not take effect until 2008 would remove the concerns of the account-wagering companies.

Richard Shapiro, the executive director of the California Horse Racing Board who has been said to be working on a resolution to the issue, did not return a phone call on Tuesday.