eBet Arrives in America

25 August 1999
Thanks to a deal between Australian internet gaming company eBet Ltd. and Penn National Gaming, the race for dominance in the North American interactive race betting market just got a little more interesting.

eBet announced today that it will grant Penn a 10 year license to use its interactive wagering technology and to use the name eBet USA, eBet group trademarks and the domain name eBetUSA.com. The license will be exclusive to Penn for horse and dog race wagering accepted by operators located in the USA. In turn, Penn has agreed not to provide access to its wagering pools to any competitive interactive service during the term of the license.

eBet USA will be formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Penn. It will establish an internet site at www.eBetUSA.com that will offer betting on U.S. and international racing covered by Penn. To comply with U.S. regulatory requirements, the site will operate as a "closed loop" system.

The site will feature live audio and video broadcasts of U.S. produced by Penn and its satellite broadcast partner TrackPower. A WebTV interface will be developed to complement TrackPower's satellite broadcasts. TrackPower produces four channels of USA racing which are broadcast on EchoStar's DishNetwork.

eBet will earn revenue from an ongoing percentage of all wagering turnover through the eBet USA Internet site and the TrackPower WebTV interface. Penn will be responsible for all establishment and operating costs while eBet will be responsible for software support and system administration.

eBet will also feature live broadcasts and betting on Penn races on its www.eBetOnline.com internet site, which will target international customers. The company will receive additional turnover-linked payments for wagering turnover from customers outside of the U.S.

eBet Managing Director Keith Cullen said the establishment of eBet USA highlighted the global focus of the eBet Group. "eBet USA provides an opportunity to gain maximum value from converging racing broadcasts with betting," Cullen said. "We are delighted to be partnering with yet another blue-chip operator in Penn National Gaming."

Penn is a leading operator of diversified gaming and pari-mutuel wagering. It owns, operates and conducts wagering at its Penn National Race Course and Pocono Downs Racetrack, through its TeleBet phone betting operations and at its ten off-track wagering facilities throughout Pennsylvania. The company also owns and operates Charles Town Races in West Virginia, which features 1000 slot machines and a live thoroughbred racing facility.

Penn broadcasts races from its race tracks to other wagering locations year-round and receives import simulcasts from approximately 75 racetracks across the U.S. Total wagering turnover on Penn's live racing programs in 1998 was US$2.57 million.

eBet has an exclusive deal to distribute the sports and race betting product of NZ TAB over the Internet site at www.eBetOnline.com and was recently appointed to distribute lottery products over the Internet for Tattersall's, Victoria including OZ Lotto, PowerBall and Tattslotto. The company's Gaming Systems Division develops and markets wide-area jackpot linking and cashless gaming systems for gaming machines.

Penn will pay eBet a licensing fee of US$500,000 that will be accrued at US$50,000 per year over the term of the agreement.