The Thoroughbred Racing Associations, co-sponsor of the International Simulcast Conference, has secured the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines in California as the new location for its 13th annual conference on simulcasting. The devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans, the conference‚s original site, forced the relocation. The conference will be held Oct. 3-5 at the Hilton, which sits adjacent to the famed Torrey Pines Golf Course on the Pacific Ocean coastline. TRA executive vice president Chris Scherf said, "The topics of this year's conference simply cannot be put off for another year. It was crucial we find a new locale so representatives of the pari-mutuel industry can convene and begin to deal with pressing revenue issues facing the industry today."Keynote speaker Eugene M. Christiansen, who is the founder of Christiansen Capital Advisors with nearly 30 years experience in the industry, will provide his insight on probable short-term and long-term developments in the gambling industry and how they will affect wagering on horse and greyhound racing in the future. The Monday program, which begins at 1:30 p.m., also will feature a presentation by Dr. Randall G. Chapman on the elements and effectiveness of computerized wagering programs. Dr. Chapman is the author of several analyses on the efficiency of racetrack betting markets. Tim Sullivan, a consultant with SafirRosetti who has worked with the New York Racing Association, will conduct a session on "Financial Integrity and Anti-Money Laundering Policies."Tuesday morning‚s general session will be devoted to international simulcasting, including discussions on new wagering activity overseas, international merged pool technical issues, net pool price calculations, betting exchanges, and foreign markets. The Tuesday afternoon sessions will feature a discussion on the threat to the integrity of racing and revenue to the industry by online bookmaking. Wednesday‚s final session, which will run 8:30-10:30 a.m., will feature panel discussions on two issues having an ever-increasing impact on racing revenues: online poker and account or advanced deposit wagering.
More information on conference reservation details will be made available tomorrow on the TRA website, www.tra-online.com. The conference is sponsored jointly by the TRA, Harness Tracks of America, and American Quarter Horse Racing, in association with the American Greyhound Track Operators Association.