05/13/2002 11:00PM

Youbet losses rise for quarter

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Youbet.com, the online horse racing broadcasting and betting company, continued to struggle in the first three months of the year, posting a $2.9 million loss in the first quarter of 2002, or 15 cents per share.

Last year in the first quarter, net loss was $2.4 million, or 12 cents a share.

As of March 31, 2002, the company had $3 million in cash, company officials said. The company said it had total liabilities of $4.7 million.

David Marshall, a founder of the company who took over as CEO earlier this year, has been trying to raise cash to keep the company afloat. As part of the deal to take over, Marshall gave the company $750,000 in cash.

Revenues for the first quarter were $2.6 million, an increase of 59 percent over last year's first quarter, but operating expenses increased 32 percent to $5.5 million. The higher revenues and expenses were associated with Youbet's operation of its own wagering hub in Oregon.

Previously, Youbet sent its wagers into a hub operated by Ladbrokes Racing in Pennsylvania. The Oregon hub allows Youbet to keep more of its revenue, but it also drives up operating costs.