High-Tech Wagering Sees Gateway Into America: The Horse Track

With advanced technologies — mobile as well as online — already in place and a record of taking bets at a large scale, William Hill and Betfair have a huge head start on their American competitors.

In Betfair’s case, it is almost a turnkey operation. It already owns two television channels that broadcast more than 40,000 races a year and is available in more than 40 million homes in the United States.

It also operates an online betting site, TVG, that handles $1 billion annually on horse racing bets in the United States.

“They already got very robust services in place,” said Sebastian Sinclair, president of Christiansen Capital Advisors, a research and consulting firm that specializes in gambling and entertainment. “They also have gone through the regulatory process in England and Ireland and have passed rigorous examinations. It gives them a leg up.”

Kip Levin, president of Betfair US, acknowledged that his company is poised to reap a windfall if sports gambling is legalized in the United States. But he added that over the past eight years Betfair has devoted its efforts, as well as tens of millions of dollars, to…

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