06/01/2005 11:00PM

Youbet closes offshore purchase

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Youbet.com, the online horserace wagering company, has closed a deal to purchase a privately held rebate shop in Curacao, International Racing Group, for $3 million in cash and stock and as much as $9.7 million in future payments, the company said Thursday.

The deal makes Youbet the first domestic account-wagering company to buy an offshore rebate shop, a segment of the racing business that has come under scrutiny after IRG and three other rebate shops were named in an indictment accusing more than a dozen individuals of running an illegal gambling operation. None of the sites, including IRG, was charged with a crime.

Youbet officials said in a statement that IRG would be operated as a separate business from Youbet.