Betfair, the Great Britain-based online betting exchange, continues to negotiate with officials in the United States and is inching closer to a deal by which it would compensate horsemen for use of their product.
Gambling sources provide more than $25.4 billion to state and local governments, according to most recent figures, but taxes on pari-mutuel wagering provided just a little more than 1% of that total.
- By Tom Precious
Negotiators in New York the afternoon of June 13 were putting the final touches on legislation in which the state would take control of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., thereby averting a shutdown of the city's betting operations for the weekend.
Churchill Downs will begin testing a new wagering format with on-track customers June 11 that allows patrons to bundle win, exacta, and trifecta plays at a lower price per bet.
With the clock ticking on the closure of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., officials from the Bloomberg administration are stepping up their calls for industry stakeholders to compromise on a bill or face the loss of more than $100 million in OTB distributions.
The Southern Racing Cooperative has a new multi-year deal with the New York Racing Association on signal rates, a cooperative official said.
Calder Race Course and all other Florida tracks are facing the prospect of not receiving the signal for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and its Pimlico Race Course undercard.
The New York Racing Association and the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative have struck a signal-fee deal that will return the NYRA signal--currently from Belmont Park--to 16 East Coast racetracks and their affiliated off-track wagering outlets effective May 9.
Declines in on-track wagering, a dispute with the New York Racing Association over signal fees, and horsemen's refusal to allow six major advance deposit wagering outlets to take its signal has led River Downs to cut purses 15%-18% effective May 8.
Because of the dispute over simulcast fees and revenue, Calder Race Course will not offer wagering on the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), as well as all other races on the two programs.
Another group of racetracks won't be importing the signal from Belmont Park beginning April 30 because they collectively have failed to strike a deal on signal rates with the New York Racing Association.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board approved a regulation April 28 requiring tote companies to provide for independent monitoring of all pari-mutuel pools effective Jan. 1, 2009. Roughly $3 billion -- one-fifth of total handle in the United States -- will fall under the new monitoring system.
Churchill Downs Inc. has invested $100 million in advance deposit wagering for a reason: The company believes it's the major growth channel for pari-mutuel wagering, as well as a means to drive traffic to the racetrack, CDI president and chief executive officer Bob Evans said.
The Mid-Atlantic Cooperative, which represents 16 racetracks and their affiliated off-track wagering outlets, has failed to reach an agreement with the New York Racing Association on signal rates, which puts simulcast of races from Belmont Park in jeopardy.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said April 16 though advance deposit wagering remains a major issue, it believes there has been progress in other areas of contract talks for the Calder Race Course meet that begins April 21.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has given the new national Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group authority to negotiate terms with advance deposit wagering companies for betting on races at South Florida Thoroughbred racetracks. Also, Florida horsemen want an agreement on slots revenue with Calder before any contracts are signed.
With RCI Integrity Services up and running, the Association of Racing Commissioners International has issued a strong call for the pari-mutuel industry to take advantage of something it believes is a no-brainer: an independent wagering monitoring system.
The Ohio horseracing and breeding industry always seems to be at a crossroads. With 2008 almost three months old, negative trends continue and near-term relief isn't in sight.
When 28-1 shot Cheroot prevailed in a blanket finish in the $98,650 Daytona Handicap, the Feb. 17 feature at Santa Anita Park, it triggered a massive three-day pick six carryover of $1,269,223 for the Feb. 18 holiday racing program.
There may not be imminent decisions in the ongoing debate over high-volume betting shops and computer-assisted wagering. The industry remains split on mechanisms that have increased or shifted pari-mutuel handle, depending on the point of view.
The board of directors of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario has unanimously approved the extension of its current contract with Woodbine Entertainment Group for an additional three years, the organization announced Jan. 18.
Shares of Scientific Games Corp. tumbled to its lowest point in more than three years Jan. 16 as the lottery services supplier reeled from the loss of its third online contract within a month.
The New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. will cease operations June 16 unless state officials provide regulatory relief before then, according to a Jan. 16 report to the corporation's board of directors.
On-track handle at Calder Race Course fell 24% during the 2007 portion of its Tropical meet, according to data obtained from the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. Calder's simulcast handle fell 26% compared with the same period in 2006.
Jokes aside, there could be progress on the pari-mutuel pricing front if comments by industry officials are any indication.
The question of whether state legislators should become more involved in pari-mutuel pricing and distribution continues to be asked, and at this point, there doesn't appear to be an answer--at least a definitive one.
The head of a national organization of regulators told legislators Jan. 4 issues related to pari-mutuel integrity and security need "serious attention," and alleged available resources are being neglected.
After cutting its daily purses about 7% in early November, Calder Race Course quietly restored the money during the final weeks of its meet that ends Jan. 2. But questions concerning Calder and other South Florida tracks linger into the new year.
The New York Racing Association has entered into a content exchange agreement with TrackNet Media Group for 2008, NYRA officials said Dec. 28. In addition, NYRA has new deals with TVG and Youbet.com for the upcoming year.
Churchill Downs has announced the dates for the three wagering pools that will comprise the track's 2008 Kentucky Derby Future Wager and Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.
The current pari-mutuel structure has captured the attention of state legislators who will discuss the situation--and whether or not they need to get involved--during the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States winter meeting Jan. 4-6, 2008.
The Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario is the latest horsemen's group to join the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, which was established Dec. 5 to facilitate simulcast activities for horsemen and improve pari-mutuel economics.
The United States and European Union struck a new trade agreement Dec. 18 that will greatly lessen the fight over offshore Internet gambling.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority will form a subcommittee to investigate an incident in which wagering on a Fair Grounds race at Keeneland remained available while a race was in progress, officials said Dec. 17.
Eight horsemen?s groups from around the United States have joined together to form a coalition designed to improve racing economics, specifically in the area of generating more purse revenue from interstate simulcasts.
Efforts to formulate regulations for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 continue to be shadowed by a conflict between the United States and other countries over a trade dispute.
The head of the National Horsemen?s Benevolent and Protective Association has suggested the horseracing industry create an entity to assist in the marketing and distribution of its product, in this case racing signals.
The first two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships will feature some pari-mutuel firsts as well.
Favorites at Woodbridge, the first off-track betting parlor operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, is scheduled to open Oct. 17.
The pari-mutuel simulcast of the Breeders' Cup World Championships will be offered in Brazil for the first time via Carnegie Cooke & Co., the media and distribution company that offers pari-mutuel services in the country said in a release.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Equibase Company have released the "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for pari-mutuel wagering in the United States and Canada.
An increase in field size and familiarity with the product has led to some growth in business at Presque Isle Downs, which began its inaugural meet Sept. 1.
The topic of late odds changes continues to shadow the pari-mutuel industry.
Saratoga wrapped up a strong 36-day meet Sept. 3 with solid gains in total handle, on-track handle, and attendance, and even set a record along the way.
The chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club said tax rates and regulations need to be reviewed in order for the racing entity to compete at a time of great change.
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.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission's ban on the import of signals from Arlington Park and Calder Race Course turned out to be short-lived.
Horseplayers in the United States will be able to wager directly into Hong Kong Jockey Club pools under a plan approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission.
Hearing complaints from fans and state legislators, the California Horse Racing Board tried to tackle two fronts on how to maintain integrity for the sport: late wagers and board conflicts.
It appears the simulcast signals from Arlington Park and Calder Race Course could be pulled from other Indiana wagering outlets, this time at the urging of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.
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