SBD/Issue 181/Finance

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  • CDI Acquires Youbet.com, Increasing Share Of Wagering Market

    Youbet.com Acquisiton Gives CDI Control Of At
    Least 50% Of Account Deposit Wagering Market

    Churchill Downs Inc. yesterday announced that it has completed its purchase of Youbet.com Inc. for $131.8M, according to Gregory Hall of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. The deal increases CDI's share of the account wagering market by "adding to its existing TwinSpires.com operation that also takes bets by phone and electronic devices." The acquisition also gives CDI "control of the United Tote totalisator company that processes bets made on track." The purchase "further diversifies Churchill from its traditional role as a racetrack operator." In addition to its account wagering operations, CDI also "operates four tracks and slots parlors at two of them." As a result of the merger, Youbet.com shareholders will receive 0.0591 share of CDI stock and $0.99 in cash. CDI issued about 2.7 million shares and paid about $45.26M in cash to Youbet stockholders. Youbet Exec Chair Michael Brodsky "becomes a Churchill director filling a new 14th seat on the company's board." CDI Exec VP/Technology Initiatives and TwinSpires.com President Rohit Thukral also is "now in charge of Youbet" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 6/3). Industry analysts indicated that the acquisition gives CDI "control of at least 50 percent of the current account deposit wagering market" (Lexington HERALD-LEADER, 6/3).

    LET THE BIDDING BEGIN: In Albany, James Odato reported "six prospective bidders have furnished" the New York state Division of Lottery the $1M "required to be considered for the bidding on rights to build and operate an Aqueduct Race Track racino, including two new groups not seen in past competitions but well-known nevertheless." Genting New York LLC, the majority owner of Empire Resorts, "has joined the fray," and "also on the list of potential bidders" is Empire City Casino-Yonkers Raceway, which is tied to Steelers Owner the Rooney family. Other bidders include Clairvest Group, which was the financial arm of Aqueduct Entertainment Group, Delaware North & Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, Penn National and SL Green Realty (TIMESUNION.com, 6/2). 

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