12/24/2009 12:00AM

TVG, TrackNet resolve dispute


Television Games Network and a simulcasting partnership owned by Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment have resolved a dispute that threatened the availability of the opening-day signal from Santa Anita on TVG's account-wagering platform, the top official of the partnership said on Thursday morning.

Scott Daruty, the chief executive of the partnership, TrackNet Media, said that the dispute was resolved on Wednesday night. As a result, TVG will be able to continue to offer wagering on all the signals controlled by TrackNet, a list that includes Santa Anita, which opens on Saturday, and Gulfstream Park, which opens on Jan. 3.

The dispute centered on a lawsuit filed by TVG alleging that Magna's account-wagering operation, XpressBet, had infringed on a patent held by TVG. The lawsuit also implied that other account-wagering operations, including Churchill's twinspires.com, were infringing on the patent any time that the operations took bets over the Internet.

TrackNet and TVG had resolved in a separate agreement reached earlier this year to settle the dispute by Dec. 25. If the dispute had not been resolved by that deadline, then an existing agreement allowing TVG to offer wagering on TrackNet's signals would have expired.

TrackNet was demanding that TVG drop the lawsuit against XpressBet and also absolve Churchill Downs from any future claims of patent infringement. A judge presiding over the lawsuit had ruled earlier this year that the patent did not apply to Internet wagering, but rather betting over an interactive television device.