Yahoo! Online Gamble
By darren
After proudly announcing unexpectedly strong first-quarter sales and profits Yahoo may yet admit that at least some of its lush revenue may come from horse-race wagering. Yahoo quietly added betting to its main horse-racing page in September through a partnership with Penn National Gaming, an operator of horse tracks and casinos.

Penn National's eBet USA subsidiary had what a Yahoo spokesman calls a “promotional presence” on the horse-racing page. Yahoo made the link to eBet USA appear as part of the site rather than a separate banner ad or button.

Yahoo was also running online ads aimed at its members that imply the service originates within the company. The animated ads showed the outline of a galloping horse, culminating in a final screen that says, ”Horse Racing on Yahoo! Sports,” with tag lines such as “Stay Home. Win Big.”

Yahoo has yet to publicly announce the new venture, although it looks likely they never will. A Yahoo spokesman: “The ads were placed before they completed our ad review process, and for that reason we are taking them down. We will evaluate the ads for their appropriateness.”

The major web operator is not alone in the controversial move. ESPN and FoxSports also have links on their main horse-racing pages to online betting sites. Interesting that Yahoo hasn’t made the move into I-gaming with more of a fanfare. They couldn’t possibly be worried about public opinion could they?

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