Past-Posting Probe Continues; NYRA Losses Minimal

New York Racing Association officials said it appears losses were kept relatively low from a September incident in which at least a dozen wagering outlets failed to stop taking bets after a Belmont Park race had begun.

"It doesn't look like we got pounded," NYRA senior vice president Bill Nader said. "It doesn't seem like a lot of money was wagered at the sites that did remain open. So, we lucked out."

New York State Racing and Wagering Board officials said they are still investigating the Sept. 20 incident in which an unknown number of facilities around the country continued taking bets until well into Belmont's 10th race that day. Regulatory and industry officials believe the episode was a technical mistake involving Autotote, and not the result of some criminal act.

"We're looking for Autotote to make sure the system is totally secure, and when betting is stopped that betting is stopped," Nader said. "No one should have an advantage. They really have to tie the system up."

Nader said Autotote has not yet been able to explain how the past-post betting was able to occur. He said it didn't involve the main betting system used by NYRA, but happened on what he called a "clone system'' that handles at least a couple dozen betting hubs across the country.

"Fortunately for us, the damage appears to be minimal," Nader said.

He said a probe is still continuing into how many bets may have come in after the race began, but he said some bets were taken as the horses were coming down the stretch.

Stacy Clifford, a spokeswoman for the racing and wagering board, said it is too early to determine exactly what happened. "We're gathering information from Autotote and NYRA, as well as some of the other jurisdictions," she said.

Clifford said a preliminary analysis shows at least a dozen outlets were affected.

Officials in New Hampshire, meanwhile, are investigating the possibility a mutuel teller at Rockingham Park may have personally placed wagers after the Belmont race began. Paul Kelley, director of the New Hampshire Pari-Mutuel Commission, could not be reached for comment Oct. 7.