The continuing saga of the Commonwealth of Kentucky seizure of 141 domain names related to online gambling took an interesting turn today.
The action of Kentucky was protectionist as online betting is legal in Kentucky through Churchill Downs Incorporated, a public company with the stock symbol of CHDN, and its online betting service at TwinsSpires.com
In releasing its earning yesterday the company said about its online gambling business:
“””The Company’s Online Business continued to grow rapidly. Handle wagered through TwinSpires.com during the third quarter of 2009 increased 43 percent over the third quarter of 2008. The growth was driven by access to new racing content that was not available in the third quarter of 2008, an increase in customers and higher average daily wagering.””
Yesterday the company also announced it was acquiring another public company and its prized domain, YouBet.com.
“””Churchill Downs Inc., owner of the racetrack where the Kentucky Derby is held, said Wednesday it will buy the Youbet horse betting Web site for about $126.8 million Youbet shareholders would get 0.0598 shares of Churchill Downs stock plus 97 cents per share cash for each share of Youbet stock owned. If the deal closes, Youbet shareholders will own a 16 percent stake in Churchill Downs.
“”Youbet.com lets people bet on horse races online.”””
“””According to recent statistics, less than 14% of all wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing is estimated to be placed online. We believe, however, that this percentage will continue to grow, consistent with recent trends toward online transactions in other consumer industries. In fact, the level of ADW wagering activity has already been increased significantly in recent years, while overall wagering activity has been relatively flat and, in recent years, down. If these recent trends continue as anticipated, we believe the combined business will be well positioned to compete for additional handle and revenue opportunities.”””
While 141 other domains await the ruling of the Kentucky Supreme Court to determine there fate (except for those domains registered with a UK registrar), online gambling in Kentucky is about to expand.