SBD/Issue 74/Finance

Wall Street Could Play Role In New Jersey Horse Racing Overhaul

Wall Street Firms Envision Trading Technology
Helping Manage Bets At New Jersey Racetracks

New Jersey's plan to "overhaul its financially strapped horse-racing industry has piqued the interest of such financial players as International Securities Exchange Holdings Inc. and bond-trading powerhouse Cantor Fitzgerald," according to Brendan Conway of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Wall Street "could play a number of different roles in New Jersey's racing shakeup," as firms "envision their trading technology helping manage bets at Garden State race tracks." The ISE, a major stock-options trading venue, "wants to revamp the state's horse betting with technology previously used by traders to act on economic data." Its Longitude LLC subsidiary "hopes to create more-efficient prices and more-transparent betting if the state allows 'win,' 'place,' and 'show' bets to be placed in a single pool." Another company that "could play a role is U.K. online gambling giant Betfair Group PLC" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/24).

BETTING BIG: In N.Y., Susanne Craig noted Cantor Fitzgerald "runs the sports book at the M Resort, a relatively new casino popular among Las Vegas locals." Cantor "has or will soon start handling the sports betting operations at the Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and at the recently opened Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and the Tropicana Las Vegas, all on or near the Strip." The company is "banking on the next frontier in gambling: a license that would allow sports betting on mobile devices anywhere in Nevada, as long as the bettor had an account at a casino." Cantor's push into Vegas is being led by Cantor Gaming President & CEO Lee Amaitis. Cantor Gaming in '08 bought Las Vegas Sports Consultants, the world's largest odds maker, and "in two years, Cantor Gaming has grown into a force in Nevada." Amaitis said that the M Casino sports book this year "has taken in more than $400 million in wagers, almost 20 percent of all the money bet on sporting events in Nevada." The firm is "not profitable," as "most of its revenue is reinvested in new technology." But Amaitis "predicts the company will be profitable on an operating basis in 2011" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/25).

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