11/15/2002 12:00AM

Youbet loses another $2M


Youbet.com, the online wagering company, lost $2.1 million in the third quarter of 2002, or 11 cents per share, running its loss so far for the year to $7.5 million, according to financial statements released Friday.

Revenues in the quarter were $8.1 million, on handle of $46.3 million. Revenues in the second quarter of 2002 were $6 million on handle of $26.3 million.

Youbet has lost $87 million since being launched four years ago, and company officials have said that Youbet will need to raise additional cash by the middle of next year to stay afloat.

Despite those problems, Youbet has become one of the leading account-wagering companies in the United States measured by handle, because of a computer-based system that allows users to watch and wager on nearly 80 racetracks from a large number of states.

The company has benefited from agreements with two competing account-wagering companies, Television Games Network and XpressBet, that allow Youbet to take bets on nearly every track in the country. Most other account-wagering services have restrictions on which tracks can be offered because of exclusivity agreements with TVG and XpressBet.

Youbet officials said this week that the company had placed all of its account-holders' deposits in a trust managed by Comerica Bank. Youbet established the trust to counter concerns that account-holders' money would be vulnerable if the company faced bankruptcy or a reorganization.