Mid-Atlantic Tracks, NYRA Strike Signal Deal

The MidAtlantic Cooperative and the New York Racing Association have struck an agreement that will allow cooperative members and their wagering facilities to import the Aqueduct signal effective Oct. 27.

The 19 members of the cooperative didn't simulcast most of the Belmont Park meet because of a dispute with NYRA. The conflict centered on account wagering and an exclusivity agreement between NYRA and the TV Games Network.

On Oct. 26, the cooperative, which has members in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as Massachusetts and New Hampshire, announced it has a new contract with NYRA. As usual, the terms weren't released.

The agreement also permits telephone and Internet account wagering in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, according to a press release.

Martin Lieberman, executive director of the cooperative, said it was the intention of member racetracks to work with NYRA to provide the "best presentation of the races in the Mid-Atlantic region." He also said the cooperative "expressed regrets over the parties' interruption of simulcasts" during the Belmont meet.

The amount of revenue lost by both parties during the dispute was speculative, but both said they took a hit.

The complexion of the dispute changed dramatically the week of Oct. 18 when Suffolk Downs, a cooperative member, said it had reached a separate agreement with NYRA to begin simulcasting Belmont races. It wasn't immediately known whether Suffolk's action triggered resolution of the dispute.

Mid-Atlantic wagering outlets account for more than 20% of total wagering in the United States each year.