Betfair ready to embark on US$50m American dream

Betfair, the online betting exchange, has spent US$50m to purchase American horse racing television channel TVG. The deal represents the British company's first venture into the USA.

Length of contract: N/A | Annualised value: N/A | Overall value: US$50 million |

Betfair, the online betting exchange, has spent US$50 million to purchase American horse racing television channel TVG (Television Games Network).

The deal represents the British company's first venture into the USA.

"We have waited to enter the US market until we had a high quality, and above all, legal product offering, and we believe with this acquisition we have secured those goals," said Betfair chief executive David Yu.

Betfair, which is less than a decade old, has no immediate plans to introduce its exchange model of betting to the USA, where gambling is far more strictly regulated than in the UK.

TVG covers racing from 70 tracks in 16 states, including the major racing centres of Kentucky, California and New York.

"We are tremendously excited to be the new owners of TVG and look forward to building upon the worldwide experience of Betfair to help grow the business," said Gerard Cunningham, president of Betfair US.

Betfair has twice been named the UK's 'Company of the Year' by the Confederation of British Industry.

In 2003, the company won a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category. The Queen's Awards are the UK's highest official awards for business.