Racing Officials Announce New Security Steps

North America's three largest horseracing organizations - Magna Entertainment Corp., Churchill Downs Inc. and the New York Racing Association Inc. - have instituted new security measures at all totalisator vendors' facilities.

MEC president Jim McAlpine, CDI President Thomas H. Meeker and NYRA chairman Barry K. Schwartz made the joint announcement Saturday.

The announcement to increase security measures following the launch of a formal investigation by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board into the controversy surrounding a Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6 wager.

Security audits of tote vendors' on-site facilities began Nov. 1 at the 19 racetracks owned or operated by the three racing organizations. Similar audits are underway at the organizations' OTB facilities and account wagering operations.

MEC, CDI and NYRA officials are working with the country's three tote system providers - Autotote Corp., United Tote Co. and AmTote International Inc. - and regulatory agencies to do the following:

* Ensure that internal controls - including personnel,
protections and access to logs - are being maintained;

* Ensure the physical security of all on-site tote facilities;

* Perform background checks on all on-site tote and racetrack
employees with access to tote facilities.

Autotote Corp., United Tote Co. and AmTote nternational Inc. provide totalisator systems under contract to U.S. pari-mutuel wagering operations.

The tote companies operate both their respective central tote systems and the on-site tote systems at racetracks and OTBs.

All three organizations have pledged to work with racing commissions in their respective jurisdictions to implement these new security measures.

"We are taking these immediate steps to ensure the security of our wagering systems and to eliminate any questions concerning their integrity," said Meeker. "It is imperative that we protect the interests of the customers that support our industry. We will work diligently to maintain their confidence in the pari-mutuel wagering system."

"As leaders within the pari-mutuel racing industry, we have launched these initiatives to tighten security measures and restrict access to our vendors' tote facilities," said McAlpine. "MEC, CDI and NYRA will also encourage other racing companies to take similar measures in an industry-wide effort to maintain our customers' confidence in the computerized systems used to process wagers."

"Our customers are our No. 1 priority," echoed Schwartz. "We understand that the ongoing investigation has raised concerns. That is why we are going over our vendors' on-site tote operations with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that strict security controls are maintained and the reliability of our wagering systems is unquestioned."