The agreement formalizes the payment of cash incentives, also known as rebates, to customers placing pari-mutuel wagers on the racing content of TrackNet-affiliated racetracks.
Both Elite and RGS have carried the racing content of TrackNet-affiliated racetracks since the formation of TrackNet in early March, a news release said. The agreements announced Aug. 1 formalize both the continued carriage of the TrackNet content by Elite and RGS, and the newly established rebate standards.
Subject to the ongoing consent and approval of applicable horsemen's associations and regulators, the agreements allow customers of Elite and RGS to wager on Churchill Downs, Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, Fair Grounds Race Course, Arlington Park, Pimlico Race Course, Golden Gate Fields, and other racing venues offered through TrackNet.
TrackNet is a joint venture between Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment.
The new standards in the agreements state that rebates on TrackNet content generally will not be paid unless a customer places annual pari-mutuel wagers of $1 million or more.
The agreements require Elite and RGS to comply with wagering security and integrity standards established by TrackNet, including the requirement to undergo additional background screening and investigation.
“Almost all industries – from casinos to airlines to credit card companies – offer incentives to their premium customers,” Scott Daruty, chief executive officer of TrackNet, said in a news release. “We at TrackNet recognize that such incentives are necessary in our industry as well.
“At the same time, we must be careful that the payment of rebates to premium customers does not inhibit our ultimate goal of ensuring a fair return to the racetracks and horsemen that put on the live races. We believe our new rebate standards appropriately balance these competing interests by limiting the payment of rebates to high-volume players who we believe are bringing significant new money to the racing industry.”
Kirk Brooks, chief executive officer of RGS, said in the release, “This agreement helps to strike a balance that properly recognizes the interests of the tracks, the horsemen and the unique customers that support racing at the highest level. This agreement is representative of an overall effort by RGS to work cooperatively with all parties in the industry to support and protect the integrity of the sport and the revenues for the live product.”