Horse racing operator WatchandWager is expecting to obtain an advanced deposit wagering (ADW) license renewal for the period leading up to 2020, news reports have surfaced.
California Close to Renewing WatchandWager License
On November 29, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) approved the license extension of WatchandWager by another three months. According to WatchandWager’s parent company, Webis Holdings this clearly indicates that the regulatory body is preparing to give the betting operator rights to continue running its activities until the end of 2020, with Webis citing December, 2020 as the possible deadline of a fully-renewed extension.
Not a bad field constructed for the G1 Hollywood Derby @DelMarRacing RIVER BOYNE is the 5/2 ML favorite but faces a tough task as he takes on the local competition, plus a handful of east coast shippers. 20 MTP pic.twitter.com/WapjVNuuHl
— WatchandWager (@watchandwager) December 1, 2018
While the information about a full license has not yet been confirmed, Webis insisted that the unanimous support for the extension has been indication enough that its horse betting entity will be granted the exclusive rights to continue and provide California with a place to make wagers on the outcome of horse races. Hardly an “uncertainty”, the talks about full renewal of the license dragged the stock price down a little.
A full renewal of the license, however, can only begin in February, 2019, after the current extension has expired. During its board meeting, Webis discussed the possibility of that happening, with the executives expressing their conviction that CHRB wouldn’t hesitate to grant the company the right to operate for a period of at least two years.
According to WatchandWager, this is an important development as it will allow the company to benefit directly from the legalization of sports betting across the nation, and in California specifically. The legal move comes after the federal law prohibiting the activity was defeated in the U.S. Supreme Court by the State of New Jersey back in May.
WatchandWager is Not New to California
WatchandWager’s license renewal and the talks about establishing itself more permanently have had an expected effect. Share prices for Webis Holdings dropped by 19%, down to 2.55p, with investors citing “an uncertainty” about the license of the company in the state.
As an existing track operator in California, WatchandWager is in a strong position to offer sports betting if it is passed into law. – Webis
However, Webis remain confident that they will mange to win the good graces of the state’s regulator, as the company already runs bets from Cal Expo Harness Racetrack based in Sacramento. More importantly, WatchandWager has been granted the greenlight from the Thoroughbred Owners of California to run betting activities, which is another important hurdle cleared for the company.
It should be recognised California will be a little slow to adopt regulation, but we are very encouraged by the certainty that only California land-based operations will be licensed in the state. – Webis
Understandably, there will be challenges, particularly insofar as legalizing betting in the state is concerned, as legislation is slow and licenses usually expensive. Due to covering legal costs related to obtaining a license, Webis has managed to only turn a net profit worth $103,000, not the company’s strongest, but still a good result given it’s reach.
WatchandWager holds a multi-jurisdictional pari-mutuel license in North Dakota and has already obtained licenses in Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, and Washington, expanding its footprint well across the United States.
Image credit: Paul Kehrer