NYRA Ordered to Drop Connecticut Internet Customers

State regulators have ordered the New York Racing Association to stop taking any Internet wagers from Connecticut residents, an embarrassing blow to NYRA on the first day of its new Internet wagering program.

The demand to halt the wagers came after Connecticut’s attorney general threatened to take NYRA to court because Internet gambling is illegal in the state.

NYRA last week received approval from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board to begin accepting wagers over the Internet, which officials predict will attract tens of thousands of gamblers. Because of a contract provision with TVG, though, NYRA said it would only take bets from residents from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

NYRA began its Internet operation Wednesday with the start of its Belmont meet. But Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said letting NYRA offer Internet wagering to residents in the state “would be extraordinarily dangerous.’’ The Associated Press said Blumenthal vowed court action, if necessary, to halt it.

Hours later, though, racing regulators in New York told NYRA to stop letting Connecticut residents bet on its new platform.

“The approval given to NYRA by the board to allow Internet wagering is limited to only those jurisdictions where the activity is legal,’’ said Dan Toomey, a spokesman for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. “Accordingly, NYRA has been ordered by the board to cease and desist from taking orders that exist from the state of Connecticut.’’

Toomey said regulators in New York have notified the Connecticut attorney general of the conditions by which NYRA won approval for Internet wagering. “NYRA is expected to fully comply with this order,’’ Toomey said.

NYRA officials could not be reached for comment.

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