A Productive Week for Starnet

10 November 1999
It appears that Starnet Communications has switched gears from disaster recovery back into the business of making deals. The company finished last week by inking a simulcast agreement with Sunland Park Racecourse and started this week by signing two new licensees. Today it announced the its second simulcast partnership in six days.

The latest deal, struck between Starnet subsidiary World Gaming Services Inc. and Northfield Park racetrack, calls for Starnet to offer pari-mutuel wagering and live broadcasts of races at Northfield to customers of Starnet race books.

Located outside of Cleveland, Ohio, Northfield Park features harness racing and ranks as one of the top five handled tracks in all of North America. The track is home to two of the largest stakes races in the U.S.: the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie and the $200,000 Miller Light Cleveland Classic, both for pacers. Offering over 14 races per night, Northfield delivers the largest fields of any half-mile track in the US, averaging over 8.5 starters per race.

"We continue to build our capabilities and presence in the horse racing market and are very pleased to partner with a track that generates as much excitement as Northfield Park," Starnet CEO Meldon Ellis said. "We look forward to launching our live online racing services in the near future and to working together with Northfield Park."

Dave Bianconi, director of simulcasting and publicity for Northfield Park added, "We are very excited to be partnering with Starnet to distribute Northfield's races online. As a reputable, cutting-edge industry leader, Starnet makes an excellent partner. Together we look forward to penetrating new markets and creating new fans with exciting new products."

Earlier in the week, Starnet introduced Fortune Entertainment Ltd. and Amazon Entertainment Ltd. as its latest software licensees, bringing the number of total licensees 53.

"We will continue to aggressively pursue new licensees, but note that the scale of these operations now affords us significant additional opportunities," Ellis said. " The dramatic growth of our licensee base has now reached a level of critical mass, enabling Starnet to move beyond its initial business model in a manner that will secure continued growth and increase shareholder value."

Starnet will supply Amazon and Fortune with an integrated gaming system that includes virtual casino games, a sportsbook with real-time odds feed from Las Vegas and Europe, and simulcast horse and dog racing (no wagers currently accepted).