10/28/2003 12:00AM

Youbet cuts quarterly loss

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Youbet.com cut its quarterly net loss to 2 cents per share on net revenues of $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2003, according to financial records released by the company on Tuesday.

Youbet.com had a net loss of 11 cents per share in last year's third quarter, on revenues of $2.6 million. The company has never posted a quarterly or annual profit, but it has narrowed its loss over the past two years while dramatically growing revenue.

Youbet.com is one of the leading account-wagering providers in the United States. The service allows bettors to open accounts and bet on horse races from nearly every track in the country.

So far in 2003, Youbet.com customers have bet $206.8 million through the service, an increase of 83 percent over last year's nine-month handle figure of $113 million. Handle in the third quarter was $72.5 million, compared to $46.4 million in the third quarter last year, an increase of 56.5 percent.

Revenues from bets on certain tracks offered by Youbet.com almost entirely benefit a separate account-wagering company, Television Games Network. Youbet.com has an agreement with TVG allowing customers to bet on TVG-exclusive tracks as long as the revenues from those bets go to TVG. TVG also holds warrants that allow the company to purchase a majority share of Youbet.com for $2.50 a share by May 2004. Tuesday, Youbet's stock closed at $2.84, down 9 cents for the day.