The Racing Commissioners International (RCI) is taking an industry leading position with their subsidiary RCI Integrity Services. The push forward was made during the 72nd annual convention of the RCI that is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort near Albuquerque, N.M.
Earlier in the week during a closed session of RCI members only, The RCI passed an unanimous resolution that "commencing in 2007, our commissioners are going to be looking into putting as a condition of licensure of race dates a requirement that the wagering system be independently monitored," according to RCI president Ed Martin.
"We need to do this in the same way as we require security on the backstretch," Martin said. "We must require the independent monitoring of the wagering system. If we don't do that, we are not serving the public, or meeting the needs of this industry and everybody whose livelihood depends on it."
Later in the afternoon during a general session committee meeting on "Wagering System Security," Alan Ahac, vice president of ESI Integrity, said: "The racing industry needs to establish a single body that will take responsibility of oversight of a common regulatory standard and enforcement mechanism.
"It will only work if everyone buys in," he said.
According to Ahac, RCI Integrity Services needs to "develop common regulatory standard and compliance monitoring procedures. If there is not going to be consistent regulatory standards, anybody who wants to perpetrate fraud is going to go for the weakest link. As long as there is a weak link, there is no shortage of potential participants."
Ahac also said RCI Integrity Services must formalize a certification process for wagering operators and establish ongoing monitoring capability.
Earlier in the week, Chuck Champion, president and CEO of Youbet.com said "The single most important asset in racing is the pari-mutuel pool. If we lose the integrity of that pool, we have lost everything. If customers do not believe, and trust it, then we've lost it."