The Thoroughbred Racing Associations is the latest organization to step up efforts regarding wagering security.During its annual meeting Feb. 9 in Las Vegas as part of the Racing Congress, the TRA board of directors approved a "substantial increase" in the 2006 budget for the Thoroughbred Racing and Protective Bureau to expand its wagering security unit, according to a release. The TRA is a trade organization for many of the nation's racetracks.Late last year, the Association of Racing Commissioners International created RCI Integrity Services, a wagering database with an emphasis on security. RCI is in discussions with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which has plans to create a national Office of Wagering Integrity.The TRA said the expanded capabilities of the TRPB would allow it to handle wagering concerns this year. It also said the efforts are designed to complement any other industry initiatives."The TRPB enhancement is to wagering analysis and investigative work already being conducted, and will provide TRA members with increased wagering security in 2006," TRA executive vice president Chris Scherf said Feb. 13. "TRPB's efforts in wagering security during the past five years could provide invaluable assistance to any current or future plans by NTRA or RCI, and we are receptive to discussions regarding the retention of TRPB's unique expertise on behalf of those initiatives."TRPB president Frank Fabian recommended the funding increase in light of concerns by members over regulatory oversight of wagering providers that have access to pari-mutuel pools. The TRA and other industry organizations have attempted to obtain information on such secondary pari-mutuel operations."The action taken by the TRA board enables TRPB, on a daily basis, to collect and analyze wagering data from TRA tracks and develop model betting patterns, thereafter making wagering aberrations more apparent and subject to further review by its wagering analysts," Fabian said in a statement.In other business, Magna Entertainment Corp. executive Corey Johnsen was re-elected TRA president. Incumbents Kenneth Dunn (Calder Race Course) and David Willmot (Woodbine Entertainment Group) were re-elected vice presidents, while Scherf was again named executive vice president, William Fasy (Delaware Park) treasurer, and Robert Bork (Sam Houston Race Park) secretary.
The 15th International Simulcast Conference in Kansas City, Mo., Sept. 17-19 will focus on the impact of 21st-century technology on the pari-mutuel industry and the wagering routine of North American bettors.