Cancel Delay for Tote Tickets Still Problem at Some Tracks

More than 50 racetracks and racing associations in the United States, as well as all facilities in Canada, have eliminated cancel delays for tote tickets, but more than 20 in the U.S. have failed to comply with the request from the Thoroughbred Racing Associations.

Cancel delays allow mutuel tellers to cancel tickets after tote systems have been closed for wagering. Betting outlets can't transmit pool information until the cancel delay has ended, so it takes longer to transmit final odds and prices. Immediate transmission of wagering data has been a goal of the TRA for some time, though the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6 fraud of 2002 put it under a microscope.

In a release, the TRA said the majority of the racetracks or racing associations that couldn't meet the Sept. 2 deadline to comply have "regulatory or union contract restrictions requiring delays ranging from three to 12 seconds to cancel mutuel tickets after the close of betting." In Canada, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency mandated elimination of the cancel delay, and all facilities have complied.

The list was put together after the TRA, Harness Tracks of America, American Quarter Horse Association, and American Greyhound Track Operators Association surveyed member associations. Sam Houston Race Park president Bob Bork, secretary for the TRA 2020 Committee, said the panel would attempt to get all wagering outlets on the same page.

In New York, all racetracks now have a zero-minutes cancel delay. Stacy Clifford, spokeswoman for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, said it was a condition for 2003 licenses.

Cancel delays still exist at the following tracks and associations: Colonial Downs in Virginia; Del Mar, Fairplex Park, Oak Tree Racing Association, and Santa Anita Park in California; Fonner Park and Horsemen's Park in Nebraska; Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands, and Monmouth Park in New Jersey; Gulfstream Park in Florida; Les Bois Park in Idaho; Louisiana Downs; The Meadows, Philadelphia Park, and the Downs at Pocono in Pennsylvania; Oaklawn Park in Arkansas; Northfield Park in Ohio; Portland Meadows in Oregon; and Yavapai Downs in Arizona.