Simulcast Conference Puts Focus on Patron

The International Simulcast Conference will feature more fan input, officials said.

This year’s International Simulcast Conference will include a panel devoted to patrons’ perspective on horse racing and wagering.

The conference, hosted by the TRA and Harness Tracks of America, will focus on “becoming more response to the needs, desires, and concerns of the wagering public,” the TRA said in a Sept. 9 release.

The conference is scheduled for Oct. 12-14 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The Oct. 12 program, which begins at 2 p.m. EDT, will discuss data and video networks, wagering security safeguards, and recommended procedures to avoid late odds shifts. TRA executive vice president Chris Scherf, Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau president Frank Fabian, Roberts Communications vice president Joe Hill, and United Tote president Jeff True are the featured speakers.

The TRA said fan input will be sought during the presentations, which will tackle information for novice fans, social media, and use of high-definition television. On Oct. 13, racetrack executives will discuss economic difficulties, competition for pari-mutuel wagering, and the impact of a declining foal crop on the product.

“I think this year’s conference, more than most, will offer to participants specific actions to be incorporated as quickly as possible into the daily routine of their operations,” Scherf said in a statement. “The cost of delay in improving our performance in the eyes of our public could be devastating.”

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance this year has focused on equine and human health and safety initiatives, but officials indicated wagering security and other pari-mutuel issues are on the agenda for 2010.