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London-listed US racetrack and betting operator Webis Holdings has extended its lease at California’s Cal Expo racetrack to continue to conduct harness racing through to 1 May 2025.

The lease renewal was awarded to Webis’ US-based advanced deposit wagering (ADW) subsidiary WatchandWager.com, allowing the company to continue operating live racing at California’s only harness race track.

Webis described the deal as vital to supporting the breed and horsemen of the state, and a significant step for the long-term future of both Cal Expo and WatchandWager.

“This approval is a significant milestone in WatchandWager's license presence in the US and the state of California," said WatchandWager president and Webis CEO Ed Comins. "We believe that WatchandWager will continue to run safe and successful race meetings at Cal Expo, which is good for both harness racing fans and the horsemen of the state.

“At the same time, our commitment to Cal Expo and racing ensure that WatchandWager will remain a major stakeholder in the positive expansion of gambling in the state of California for many years to come.”

The contract extension with the racetrack’s landlord, independent state agency California Exposition & State Fair (CalExpo), also includes a clause to extend the lease until 2030. It follows WatchandWager’s recent one-year licence extension for racing at the track from the California Horse Racing Board.

WatchandWager has been operating live racing at Cal Expo since 2012. The 2019/2020 Cal Expo Harness Racing season began on 9 November and will run 47 race dates on Fridays and Saturdays through to Saturday 25 April 2020.

Shares in Webis Holdings plc (LSE:WEB) soared by 14.83 per cent to 1.38 pence per share in London Wednesday following the announcement, having hit a 52-week low of 0.935p last Thursday.

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