NYRA Defends Itself Against State Probe

State Wagering Board reviewing whether corporation improperly extended ADW credits.

The New York Racing Association defended its advanced deposit wagering system Jan. 13, and said it welcomed a review by state regulators.

But NYRA said any probe by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board needs to be viewed in context; the racing board approved the wagering system in 2008.
The comments by NYRA came a day after Robert Megna, chairman of a state panel with oversight responsibilities of the track corporation, asked the state Racing and Wagering Board to determine if NYRA has improperly extended credit to any of its patrons through its advanced deposit wagering account.
But NYRA said if one of its customers has insufficient funds to cover a deposit into its Express Funding account, then the bettor is at fault.
“Rather, the person making the deposit has committed a crime and NYRA has been the victim of fraud,’’ NYRA said in a Jan. 13 statement.
The state racing board declined to comment on NYRA’s claims, saying only it is investigating the matter.
Megna said if NYRA is extending credit that it would “represent significant mismanagement.’’
But NYRA said its ADW program, NYRA Rewards, follows the law. “We refute any allegations that suggest otherwise,’’ NYRA said in a written statement.
NYRA said that unlike some OTB’s in New York, which permit bettors to make immediate deposits of up to $10,000, it limits its NYRA Rewards customers to making immediate deposits of up to $1,000 weekly through an electronic funds transfer. NYRA said screening is in place on such customers in a system approved Feb. 26,2008 by the racing and wagering board.
NYRA said if it uncovers bettors making wagers beyond their account deposit level it “rigorously pursues recompense from the customer and bank.”
The probe comes as the state is considering plans for a dramatic expansion at NYRA’s Aqueduct Racetrack. Genting New York, the new operators of the Aqueduct casino, wants to build a convention center and expand the casino. There has been speculation that backers of the project might want to end racing at Aqueduct to provide more space for Genting to grow.