US News -- Horse race betting company Youbet.com said today that it broke three records in May. The Woodland Hills, Calif., company said it took in record handle of $27.6 million during the money, up from the former record of $20.9 set in March 2003. Customers put a record $7,067,625 into their Youbet.com accounts, and the company received bets from 12,285 customers, up from the former record of 10,357 during October of 2002.
News from Asia --A Hong Kong judge recently slapped five members of an underground betting syndicate with two-and-a-half year sentences for money laundering, illegal bookmaking and handling the proceeds from a crime. The illegal operation took in more than HK $400 million in three years, the South China Morning Post reported today. ... A random telephone survey of Hong Kong residents has found that three-quarters of those polled were in favor of legalized soccer betting. The study was conducted by the University of Hong Kong and 600 people were questioned. "I assume they have been persuaded by the argument that it's better to control it than to leave it in the hands of illegal bookmakers," said John Bacon-Shone, the study's director.
UK Bit -- The public relations director of the U.K. Jockey Club, defended betting exchanges recently but said that owners and trainers of horses should not use the exchanges to bet that their own horse won't win. "In looking into this," John Maxse said, "it has become clear that sometimes owners use an exchange to lay their own horse, not to see it lose, but to cover the expense of the day should it not win."