Exchange wagering rules in California have been approved by the state's Office of Administrative Law it was announced Aug. 6, though implementation of any agreement to conduct the non-traditional form of pari-mutuel wagering remains quite a ways off.
Mike Marten, spokesmen for the California Horse Racing Board, said Aug. 7 that staff would need 90 days to review any agreement or application to conduct exchange wagering before it could be considered by the board. The Thoroughbred Owners of California has expressed reservations about giving consent to advance deposit wagering companies to conduct exchange wagering.
Exchange wagering, operated through a betting exchange such as Betfair/TVG, is a form of pari-mutuel wagering between two bettors, one backing a horse and the other wagering against the horse at agreed-upon odds. It has proven popular in England but has been approached with wariness by California horsemen concerned about the effect such wagering could have on regular pari-mutuel pools, from which purses are derived, and about the potential for abuse.
The rules approved by the CHRB and finally ratified by the office of administrative law are designed to address those concerns. With the OAL's approval, the list of 25 rules comprising the regulatory framework become effective immediately, Marten said. However, exchange wagering companies must come to agreements with the racing associations and fairs, as well as horsemen, before the CHRB can consider them.
The OAL action completes a regulatory process that began two years ago. The CHRB conducted numerous public hearings before eventually approving the rules, which cover license applications, operating plans, monitoring systems, and financial and security audits of exchange wagering providers. Those rules were submitted to OAL for review and approval, and some were resubmitted to address OAL concerns.
All exchange wagering regulations can be viewed on the CHRB website (www.chrb.ca.gov) through the links Board/Rules and Law/Important Rule Updates.