RCI Amends Chamblin's Contract; Virginia Drops Out

The Association of Racing Commissioners International's board of directors has reduced the salary and benefits package of president Tony Chamblin for the remaining two years of his current contract. Details of the salary and perks changes, which came during a marathon session of the board in Tucson, Arizona, on Thursday, were not immediately available.

Chamblin's salary and incentive package came under scrutiny earlier this year over terms of the executive's three-year contract that went into effect Jan. 1, 2000. The contract did not include an abatement plan agreed to by Chamblin in 1997. At that time, Chamblin agreed not to accept $50,000 of his then-annual salary of $219,000 if the RCI showed a deficit. As part of the agreement, which came at a time when RCI was losing members, Chamblin would be paid back $1 for every $2 in revenue over the budgeted amount.

Meanwhile, Virginia Racing Commission chairwoman Robin Williams said the regulatory body will end its RCI membership at the end of the current quarter. "In Virginia, we are just not in accord with the policies and directions of the organization," said Williams, whose group paid $22,000 in RCI dues this year. "The RCI has some very good programs and it has always had the potential to contribute in a positive way to the racing industry. We see no benefit in our continuing to participate."

Williams said she did not know if the Virginia commission would affiliate with North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association, which was formed by many of the commissions that left RCI in the late 1990s.