WatchandWager pens long-term lease extension for Cal Expo racetrack

| By Robert Fletcher
WatchandWager.com, the US advance-deposit wagering operator subsidiary of Webis Holdings, has secured an extension to its lease of the operation of Cal Expo Harness racetrack.

The agreement will run through to May 2030, extending the current deal that was due to expire in May 2025 by an additional five years.

WatchandWager, which has held the lease since 2012, brokered the latest extension with the board of the California Exposition and State Fair. Key commercial terms of the deal have been agreed, with the contract between the venue’s landlord and WatchandWager expected to be a formality.

As WatchandWager is already approved by the California Horse Racing Board to conduct its operations, the extension does not require any further approval from the state’s regulator.

“WatchandWager has operated live racing at the Cal Expo venue since 2012 and continues to improve the quality of racing at the venue,” Webis said. “In addition, this sector of the business has proven to be profitable in the past and indeed currently.

“The board sees no reason why this positive trend should not continue to be the case into the extension. The racetrack also enjoys an excellent health and safety record for equine and human participants, and this continues to be a key focus for the operation

“This approval secures the WatchandWager physical licensed presence in California for a further significant period, alongside its existing online license. This commitment to the state is important, as the State Capitol continues to consider its options for the legalisation of sports betting in California, the biggest market in the US.”

The extension comes after Webis last month reported a small net loss of $70,000 for the first half of its 2022 financial year, while revenue also fell 8.1% year-on-year.

Revenue for the six months through to 30 November amounted to $6.8m, which was down from $7.4m in the corresponding period in the 2021 financial year, while the amount bet by customers also fell 12.3% to $39.8m.

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