The New York Racing Association and the Southern Racing Cooperative have reached a verbal agreement to settle a simulcast contract dispute that will return the NYRA signal to the 11-member track cooperative. No formal contracts have been signed between the two groups.
The cooperative includes Lone Star Park, Sam Houston Race Park, and Retama Park in Texas; Oaklawn Park in Arkansas; Emerald Downs in Washington; Prairie Meadows in Iowa; Tampa Bay Downs in Florida; and the Downs at Albuquerque, Ruidoso Downs, SunRay Park, and Sunland Park in New Mexico.
Bill Nader, NYRA vice president of racing, said the resolve could return the signal to all tracks as soon as Friday (Jan. 12), except for the three Texas tracks which must wait five days from the date of the signed agreement due to Texas law. Contracts must be signed by both groups before the signal can be returned.
Nader said both sides agreed not to speak about contract specifics, however, he did say everyone involved seemed pleased with the outcome. "Sometimes these deals need to be negotiated, and both sides made some compromises. We are just pleased that it is over."
The tracks stopped accepting the NYRA signal at the start of the year after NYRA requested specific rate adjustments from the member tracks. Officials wouldn't discuss the amount of the fees, which vary from track to track. The industry standard for a simulcast signal has been 3%, though they have been as low as 1.5% for tracks seeking exposure, and as high as 6% for companies that offer account wagering.