Passage of the Illegal Internet Gambling Enforcement Act may contain protection for pari-mutuel horse racing, but it also could create some obstacles in the future, officials said Oct. 16 during the opening session of the International Simulcast Conference in Philadelphia.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has indicated Thistledown is authorized to send its signal to Youbet.com, but the California account wagering company has indicated it may not be willing to offer the signal.
Changing consumer standards will be the theme at the 14th International Simulcast Conference Oct. 16-18 in Philadelphia. The conference will feature sessions on the impact of Internet wagering, the disparity between commercial television and simulcast signal quality, and heightened concern about equine welfare issues.
Hawthorne Race Course, which opens for live racing Sept. 15, and TVG have ended their exclusive contract, which led the Illinois track to strike deals with Youbet.com and XpressBet to offer wagering on its signal.
A simmering dispute over licensing fees tied to account wagering has flared up in Illinois, where horsemen have pulled the Arlington Park signal from TVG in an attempt to get the signal from the upcoming meet at Hawthorne Race Course available through Youbet.com.
Magna Entertainment Corp. chairman Frank Stronach indicated his company hopes to be involved in New York racing on some level, and that it also is working with Churchill Downs Inc. on projects that will benefit the two companies and the industry at large.
Charlson Broadcast Technologies and affiliated groups have announced the opening South American off-track betting parlors and agencies that will commingle wagers in the United States and return percentages of revenue to the racing industry.
A two-hour discussion on account wagering and secondary pari-mutuel operations July 14 again revealed horsemen have knowledge of situations that suck revenue from purse accounts, but no definitive national strategy to recoup the money.
The United States House of Representatives passed the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act July 11 by a vote of 317-93, but defeated an amendment that would extended the proposed ban on Internet gambling to horse racing and state lotteries by apparently superseding existing federal law.
The International Horsemen's Wagering Assurance Group, which intends to recapture pari-mutuel revenue and funnel it to horsemen, jockeys, and racetracks, announced it has officially opened a secondary pari-mutuel operation with a hub in Las Vegas and call center in Curacao.
Youbet.com, the online wagering company headquartered in California, plans to review statements given by Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan during the May 2 U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing at which the Democratic Congressman said the company is operating despite a cease-and-desist order from the office of the U.S. attorney general.
Betfair, the rapidly growing exchange-wagering provider based in Great Britain, believes it could provide up to $50 million in new revenue for itself, racetracks, and horsemen by 2008 should it be permitted to operate in the United States.
As Congress continues to haggle over the scope and objective of the proposed Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, the racing industry again finds itself in disagreement with the Department of Justice over whether interstate simulcasts are legal under the federal law.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has extended its public comment period for new administrative regulations governing multi-jurisdictional wagering hubs, a law for which was passed in 2004. Two years later, no hubs are operating in the state.
Legislation that would grant Fairmount Park a tax break worth almost $1.4 million a year has passed both houses of the Illinois legislature and awaits the signature of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. If approved, the track could increase purses and racing dates, according to reports.
A Congressman from Kentucky said legislation that would amend the Interstate Horseracing Act to provide workers' compensation insurance for jockeys, backstretch workers, and trainers could be ready for consideration in about four weeks.
Expansion of account wagering and improvements to existing platforms are a chief objective of Churchill Downs Inc., whose chief executive officer, Tom Meeker, indicated change is needed to generate more industry revenue and maintain or expand the customer base.
In management changes announced by Youbet.com, Joe Tracy will head a new subsidiary that will develop technology-based games, products, and services, while Jeff True will serve as president of United Tote, which Youbet.com acquired earlier this year.
New York should permit public and private partnerships to bid on the New York Racing Association franchise, allow bettors to wager via computers, introduce frequent-betting rewards programs at tracks, and approve the merger of the state's off-track betting corporations, according to an ambitious legislative package proposed March 9 by Friends of New York Racing.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has formed a subcommittee to meet with representatives of the Association of Racing Commissioners International to examine a joint effort in forming a national Office of Wagering Integrity.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association may look for ways to pursue legal action to stop signal piracy and recover what they believe is their fair share of revenue from wagering on Thoroughbred racing.
An electronic commerce company hopes to introduce a Web-based program that would convert legal pari-mutuel Internet wagers into on-track bets, thus increasing the share of revenue to tracks and horsemen.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association again will tackle the issues of offshore simulcasts, pirating, and horsemen's rights during its winter convention scheduled for Jan. 21-25 in Tampa, Fla.
New York officials need to act quickly to launch a major overhaul of racing laws to help jumpstart the state's $1.4-billion Thoroughbred racing industry, Friends of New York Racing concluded in its year-end report on the status of pari-mutuel horse racing in the state.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, during a Dec. 1 meeting, approved a revised operating and licensing agreement with Breeders' Cup that will last at least one year, and received a report on what could be the first step toward formation of the long-awaited national Office of Wagering Integrity.
Youbet.com, which earlier this year purchased an offshore wagering company, has entered into an agreement to purchase United Tote for $49 million, the company announced Dec. 1. United Tote supplies tote services to more than 90 pari-mutuel facilities in North America.
International Racing Group, a rebate shop located in Curacao but owned and operated by United States-based Youbet.com, was licensed by the Oregon Racing Commission Nov. 2, and is the first such entity to be licensed by U.S. regulators.
A few days after a federal judge denied granting her a new trial, Susan Bala, the founder and former president of North Dakota's Racing Services Inc., reported to prison Sept. 30 to begin serving a 27-month sentence.