Official: Tote Security Plan Remains on Track

The project is being undertaken by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau.

The Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau is making progress on its plan to roll out what it calls the "Tote Security System" in the fall of 2013, an official said Dec. 4.

The Tote Security System was first discussed at the International Simulcast Conference in Florida in early October. Key functions of the system include identifying participants in a host track's wagering pools; closing all wagering when the host track does so; and providing a database of all wagers within 60-120 seconds of a race.

Every association that retails pari-mutuel wagers will pay a fee for the basic security system. One goal of the system is to address late odds changes, be it real or perceived.

The TRA, a racetrack industry trade group, has invested in the Tote Security System and developed a business plan for industry participation. Totalizator companies have provided development services, The Jockey Club developed the technology, and Roberts Communications Network will provide the datalinks, the TRPB's J. Curtis Linnell said.

The hook-up fee would be about $950 per month per association; a racetrack and its affiliated betting facilities would pay one fee, for example.

TRA-member racetracks would receive other servicesdecimal odds displays and the wagering audit functionfor free. Non-member tracks could pay roughly $6,000 a month for those services based on initial discussions. (Because the fee is driven by host product, the actual fee would depend on the length of a live meet.)

There has been little public discussion about the Tote Security System, though some retailers, mainly harness tracks that import Thoroughbred signals, have privately raised questions about the need for the system and the cost.

"We had to give them a full year's notice," Linnell said. "I'm getting hit up with a lot questions, and I've gotten some feedback. There are some TRA-member tracks that run harness meets, and we're going to talk to harness operators.

"They will have the opportunity to join as hosts, and I expect some to consider that."

Further information on the system is expected in the first quarter of 2013. Linnell said the fall of 2013 remains the launch goal.