02/27/2008 1:00AM

Youbet official says company has let him go


Lonny Powell, the vice president of public affairs of Youbet.com, was fired by the company this week, Powell said, as part of an overall corporate restructuring.

Powell, who had been with the account-wagering company since December 2005, said that his removal was handled "amicably" amid a number of other recent layoffs, but he declined to comment on the details of the restructuring.

Powell was recruited by Charles Champion, Youbet's former chief executive, who resigned from the company in December.

Powell worked on legislative matters in the United States for Youbet and was based in Lexington, Ky. He had previously worked for Turf Paradise, Magna Entertainment Corp., and Racing Commissioners International.

Youbet is one of the largest domestic account-wagering operations in the United States, but the company has struggled financially over the past year because of changes in the account-wagering marketplace. In addition, the company's offshore wagering shop, International Racing Group, is still under investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, though details of the investigation are unclear. Youbet closed the shop earlier this month, citing a significant downturn in business following the disclosure of the investigation late last year.

Officials from Youbet could not be reached on Wednesday.

Youbet's stock has declined substantially over the past year, falling from its 52-week high of $3.40 to its Wednesday close of 86 cents. The company has not yet released its financial results from 2007.