Blood-Horse Staff, Blood-Horse
Date Posted: 12/19/2015

TwinSpires.com, one of three advance deposit wagering systems licensed to accept bets from Virginia residents, had its license suspended by the Virginia Racing Commission effective Dec. 18.

The Virginia Equine Alliance Dec. 19 said the VRC at its Dec. 16 meeting gave TwinSpires.com, which is owned by Churchill Downs Inc., until 5 p.m. EST Dec. 18 to pay $688,000 owed to the state’s racing entities, including the VEA, Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Virginia Harness Horsemen’s Association, and breeders. The payment had to be made in order for the ADW provider to keep its license for this year and 2016.

The VEA said TwinSpires.com advised the VRC in writing that it would not comply with the order. The VRC then suspended the license and ordered the company to notify customers and allow them to retrieve funds from their accounts.

“We are currently in a dispute with the Virginia Racing Commission and certain Virginia racing interests,” TwinSpires.com director of communications Ed DeRosa said Dec. 19. “We question the constitutionality of the Virginia ADW statutory scheme and are prepared to defend our position.

“We continue to operate in Virginia. Accounts remain active and we do not anticipate any disruption of service.”

TVG and Xpressbet.com continued to operate in Virginia. Under state law  a portion of each dollar bet through ADW systems goes toward purse accounts, breed development programs, and the VEA, which is attempting to rebuild racing in the state in the absence of Colonial Downs.