|by Earl Williams |
The computers and telephones of horse racing gamblers are getting hot in California. Two companies, XpressBet, a subsidiary of Magna Entertainment Corp., and Television Games Network (TVG) have been given licenses by the California Horse Racing board to accommodate horse betting online and over the phone in the Golden State. The licenses were granted less than a month after legislation enabling online and phoneline betting came into effect. The legislation was signed by Governor Gray Davis last summer.
Submissions from two other companies were incomplete and will be resubmitted to the racing board.
'This could be the start of a new era in California racing,' TVG president Mark Wilson said. 'What is racing, 13th or 14th in popularity among all sports? Maybe this will bring the game back to the status it had years ago.'
Gamblers who want to bet on races at any one of the three Magna tracks -- Golden Gate Fields, Bay Meadows, and Santa Anita -- first have to set up an account with XpressBet. Bettors at the other tracks, such as Hollywood Park and Del Mar, must set up an account with TVG.