California racing officials pondering what to do about a building workers' compensation insurance crisis are closer to submitting legislation that would increase pari-mutuel takeout in the state.
Representatives from the California Thoroughbred industry have scheduled an April 10 meeting at Santa Anita Park to discuss a proposal that would increase pari-mutuel takeout to help pay for spiraling workers' compensation insurance rates.
Keeneland, which last fall experimented with a reduced 16 percent pari-mutuel takeout, has made adjustments for its spring meet, which begins April 5. The takeout for win, place, and show wagers will remain 16 percent, but for exotic bets, it will go back up to 19 percent.
A conflict over the level of deductions taken from pool betting by the Tote in Great Britain has erupted after an investigation by the Racing Post newspaper.
The timing couldn't be better. But it's pure coincidence the International Simulcast Conference, which begins Monday in Louisville, Ky., includes a panel discussion titled "The Cost of a Bet."
It won't be easy to gauge the results of Keeneland's pari-mutuel takeout reduction, and the decision by the Mid-Atlantic racetracks and New York off-track betting corporations to drop the Kentucky track's signal because of concerns over a drop in revenue.
All of the off-track betting corporations in New York confirmed Friday they will not take the signal from Keeneland effective Friday, the Lexington track's opening day. The decision is tied to a reduction in takeout at Keeneland, the impact it could have on the bottom line of outlets that take the signal.
Unable to strike a deal on a simulcasting fee, the racetracks that fall under the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative will not offer the Keeneland signal at their facilities effective Friday, opening day of the Lexington track's fall meet.
The upcoming mixed meet at Prairie Meadows will feature a reduced pari-mutuel takeout and a new pick four wager with a 12% takeout rate. The changes were approved by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
The New York Racing Association, after agreeing to concessions with the state's off-track betting corporations, won final legislative approval of its plan to lower takeout on betting at its three tracks in New York. Gov. George Pataki must sign the bill.
Negotiations to permit the New York Racing Association to lower its pari-mutuel takeout, which NYRA believes will increase wagering, are close to a resolution, individuals involved in the talks said.
Richard Bomze, president of the New York THA, said Wednesday the organization that represents horsemen at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga met the week of April 9 and decided to support the plan pushed by NYRA chairman Barry Schwartz.
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