Fair Grounds, Autotote to Launch Net Betting Service

23 March 2001
Last year Louisiana became one of the first American states to legalize Internet gambling with the passage of HB 85. The bill permits Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans to extend its current pari-mutuel product offerings to include account wagering services over the Internet.

On Saturday Fair Grounds will launch its "Net Bet" Internet account wagering system using Autotote Corporation's Trackplay TM Internet platform. In addition, Autotote will continue to provide telephone account wagering services and equipment for Fair Grounds.

"The future growth of horseracing depends upon the industry embracing new technology and reaching out to a younger generation of fans," commented Bryan Krantz, Fair Grounds' president and general manager.

With the launch of the Net Bet site, Fair Grounds becomes the first domestic racing association to offer an integrated Internet and telephone account wagering system that enables customers to legally place a pari-mutuel bet at the racetrack, at a Fair Grounds' off-track betting location, and where legally permitted, over the telephone or via the Internet, all through one account. (The Internet site is located online at www.FGNetBet.com.)

For the short term, Net betting will be limited to Louisiana residents, until confirmation is received that other states will allow their residents to place pari-mutuel wagers over the website, explained Scott Finley, Autotote's vice president of marketing. He believes that international customers would also be able to legally wager on the Net Bet site, so long as the customer's national laws permit wagering over the Internet.

Beyond wagering opportunities, the website will provide information on the various races run in New Orleans or at other tracks that have simulcast agreements with Fair Grounds. Plus, bettors can watch the races as they're streamed to the Net Bet site. (Fair Grounds is currently seeking permission, from the tracks it has simulcast arrangements with, to accept bets on their races over the Internet.)

Autotote developed the TrackplayTM platform as part of a joint venture with Arena Leisure plc, a U.K. racecourse group. Arena plans to eventually launch a similar Internet betting site in the U.K., and also make British racing available to Fair Grounds Net Bet customers.