Bookmaker News – Betfair Looking Stateside


US gambling laws still forbid the use of betting exchanges but Betfair have assured themselves a head start on competitors should legislation be relaxed in the future with the $50million purchase of the Television Games Network. TVG, who had an extimated turnover of almost $500million in bets in 2007, hold a significant advantage over main rivals XpressBet, and in the account-wagering market in that they also own a cable television franchise so are able to beam live racing into homes where armchair punters can bet directly into US racecourse tote pools. Betfair insist they have no prior knowledge that the new administration in Washington is looking favourably on a change in the law but the fact that executives at the betting exchange giants regard the capture of TVG as being on a par with the recent acquisition of Timeform suggests they expect the 16 states in which TVG operates to provide a valuable source of income in the years ahead.

There was a report published recently that almost one in ten adults in Britain now take form in some form of remote gambling on a fairly regular basis. Good news for bookmakers then – well not necessarily so! You see less than a quarter of that total were betting on sports (most were buying lottery tickets), while fewer than one per cent of the survey group admitted to having a bet on the exchanges which suggests the relaxation of advertising rules as regards to gambling hasn’t plunged the UK into a spiral of decadence just yet. If you did fancy a bet on the internet, one option was removed last week when Betdirect‘s name finally disappeared off the radar. From February 4th, all Betdirect account customers were being redirected to sister company Stan James‘ website after the two firms had been trading side-by-side for 15 months.