Edited press release
The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States has unanimously agreed to support RCI Integrity Services, an independent pari-mutuel monitoring system that falls under the auspices of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
The NCLGS executive committee took the action Jan. 13 during its winter meeting in Duck Key, Fla.
In recognizing that electronic wagering on horse and Greyhound racing is the only form of legalized electronic gambling currently in the United States that isn’t independently monitored, the resolution supports the efforts of state racing regulators to ensure a safe simulcast wagering system.
Florida Sen. Steven Geller, president of NCLGS, said the resolution “responds to a need for a more secure pari-mutuel wagering system that would ultimately benefit the general public, racing fans, and the industry. The RCI Integrity system will bring pari-mutuel wagering on par with other legalized electronic gaming enterprises in the states—such as state lotteries, video lottery terminal programs, and slot machines—which are all required by sound state public policy to be independently monitored.”
Said RCI president Ed Martin: “Tremendous vulnerability exists in this arena, and it took the Breeders’ Cup Pick 6 fiasco to alert everyone to the fact that while much time and effort has been spent on medication and backstretch issues, little focus has been given to the wagering system. As the pari-mutuel simulcast process has become more and more complex and technology has advanced, different types of wagers are being offered and computer crimes are emerging—spurring pari-mutuel regulators to react.”
Industry representatives who attended the NCLGS meeting were silent on the resolution and RCI Integrity Services, though it was noted at a committee meeting that industry concerns previously had been voiced regarding the need for an independent system and prospective costs for the industry.
The resolution strongly encourages state regulators to promote voluntary participation of wagering-system operators in the monitoring process, and take steps to require an orderly transition to such monitoring for wagering and auditing purposes within existing statutory authority.
The NCLGS resolution was first presented to the organization’s Committee on Pari Mutuels in June 2006, and deferred until the winter meeting in order for legislators to obtain additional information. The resolution was subsequently adopted by the Committee on Pari-Mutuels Jan. 12 and referred to the NCLGS Executive Committee for a vote.