Livedoor Co. has agreed to help the struggling operator of Kochi Racecourse sell betting tickets through a dedicated Web site, officials of both companies said Thursday.
The Web site is expected to be set up in April. Ticket sales are likely to start in August, they said.
Tokyo-baed Livedoor, a provider of Internet and computer network-related services, lost its bid last month to buy a professional baseball team to Internet mall operator Rakuten Inc. It has since made offers to help buoy financially troubled racetracks and been approached by a few of them.
Kochi Racecourse is the first racetrack with which Livedoor has agreed to form a business partnership.
The racecourse made 120 million yen in profit in its last business year, thanks to Haruurara, a thoroughbred that has drawn a steady following for its remarkable losing streak of more than 100 races.
But it is saddled with around 6 billion yen in cumulative losses and will be forced to shut down if it incurs a loss on a single-year basis. Haruurara is on leave to rest and scheduled to retire in March.
On the possibility of covering any losses, Livedoor President Takafumi Horie did not make any explicit commitment, saying only, “We might temporarily offer to cover a loss, but we will make a decision depending on the situation.”
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