Big deal for Betfair


The UK-based online betting exchange Betfair Group Ltd. has completed its acquisition of the US-based TV Games Network from Macrovision for $50 million in cash.

TVG is among the most widely-distributed horseracing networks in the world and is also a leading provider of advance deposit wagering services in the U.S., and Betfair is a premier e-gaming betting community, with horseracing as its core product.

"The divestiture of the TVG Network marks another milestone in a set of objectives we set for ourselves when we acquired Gemstar-TV Guide in 2008, and helps to focus our company around the goal of powering a uniquely simple home entertainment experience," said Fred Amoroso, president and CEO of Macrovision.

Gerard Cunningham, president of Betfair U.S., said: "We are tremendously excited to be the new owners of TVG and look forward to building upon the worldwide experience of Betfair to help grow the business. We believe TVG to be the premium product in the sector, with exceptional staff and loyal customers, and we look forward to working with the horseracing industry to help promote this great sport."

David Yu, CEO of the Betfair Group Ltd, commented: "We have always been attracted by the operating strength of TVG together with its conservative and prudent regulatory approach. Its values are very much aligned with those of Betfair. We have waited to enter the U.S. market until we had a high quality, and above all, legal product offering, and we believe with this acquisition we have secured those goals."

TVG covers racing from 70 tracks 16 U.S. states, including the key racing centres of Kentucky, California and New York. It also accepts bets from residents of those states, dividing the profits with the racecourses concerned.

Betfair has no plans at present to introduce its betting exchange model into the US market, but will use its cutting-edge technology to improve the pari-mutuel betting services offered to TVG clients, said Yu.

"We have waited to enter the US market until we had a high quality, and above all, legal product offering, and we believe with this acquisition we have secured those goals," said Betfair's chief executive.

The American venture follows news that Betfair is also involved in the Russian betting market

The betting exchange announced Wednesday that it has opened its online client to the Russian poker community.

"Up until now, our clients could only view information on the poker client and promotions in English, Spanish, German, and Italian," said Bruce Stubbs Head of Betfair Poker. "However, we are now delighted to start offering updated information to our Russian clients."

Russian poker players have become a respected force in international poker in recent years, featuring prominently in many of the major land tournaments and championships.

Stubbs said that the Russian market a fascinating one that continued to produce very talented individuals. "We saw a very strong showing from this region at this year's WSOP Europe event which we currently sponsor. We hope that the new Russian client shows our commitment to developing and producing new offerings and hope to announce more in the coming year."

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