Alan Foreman, the horse owners' lawyer, told the newspaper Friday, "I'm pleased that we resolved the horsemen's account issue."
The New York Racing Association and Television Games Network have reached a $13.5 million deal giving the network exclusive simulcasting rights outside of New York, according to a published report.The Albany Times Union reported that the agreement was a key component of NYRA's announcement Friday that it had fully funded the state horsemen's purse account, which NYRA Senior Vice President William Nader said totaled $16.9 million.The NYRA had admitted to federal prosecutors last year that it had improperly used the account to offset operating expenses. A probe of NYRA finances found that it had lost $20 million last year. The New York Racing and Wagering Board approved the contract between TVG and the NYRA on Aug. 25, according to a letter released by the regulatory agency.TVG, which acknowledged the deal but said it plans to make its own announcement Sept. 7, gains exclusive rights for the NYRA simulcast signal – which includes Saratoga, Belmont Park and Aqueduct – for its home betting network. The deal also includes non-exclusive rights to the signal within the state, where NYRA also sells rights to off-track wagering facilities. That's significant because under its earlier arrangement, TVG could not accept wagers on New York races by New Yorkers, the Times Union reported.On Friday, the NYRA distributed a press release saying the horsemen's account had been fully restored, citing confidential "business transactions." C. Steven Duncker, NYRA acting co-chief operating officer and trustee, said that with the approval of the racing and wagering board "we were able to position our simulcast signal as a strategic asset and utilize it in ways that provide new benefits to NYRA and NYTHA."The horsemen's account is held in trust for purses and other costs.