The Thoroughbred Racing Associations board of directors has adopted a protocol that establishes industry-wide procedures for tracks to follow in case betting fails to close promptly at the start of a race—something commonly referred to as “past-posting.”
The TRA board met Feb. 5 in Las Vegas for its annual meeting.
There have been several high-profile past-posting incidents in the last few years. The TRA, in a release, said: “While such incidents are rare, the board felt it important for members to react in a standardized manner, as well as make a concerted effort to eliminate past-posting entirely.”
The protocol, drafted by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau with input from TRA directors and the TRA 2020 Committee, outlines actions tracks should take in the short term, including adoption of tote and video time synchronization, the addition of language to simulcast contracts that establishes the host track as owner of the wagering data, and clarification of tote provider points of contact.
The protocol includes steps that should be taken after an alleged incident occurs, including identification, collection, and verification of video and tote data. The requisite data would then be forwarded to the TRPB Wagering Integrity Unit, which would assist the track in investigating and analyzing the incident.
The TRPB would have the option to perform on-site inspections, review technical applications, and interview assigned personnel as circumstances dictate.
The TRA and others have been working on the protocol for some time. During the International Simulcast Conference in September 2008, officials called on the industry to be transparent and act quickly.
Curtis Linnell, wagering analyst for the TRPB, which falls under the TRA umbrella, at the time said tracks must report past-posting incidents immediately. TRA executive vice president Chris Scherf said the issue needs to be settled.
"To be in the betting industry and say we can't assure you we can close betting just isn't acceptable," Scherf said in September.
One past-posting incident at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in Louisiana became known only after a big bettor brought it up during the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing & Gaming.