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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CHRB Reviewing Wagering Incident

A press release today.

The June 5 meeting of the California Horse Racing Board will include a review of an apparent communications failure Saturday, May 16, that led to the cancelation of all wagers placed on the ninth race at Hollywood Park from 33 out-of-state locations.

The CHRB was advised Saturday night by Scientific Games, the totalizator company that processed the wagers, that a command to stop betting at the start of the ninth race at Hollywood Park was not transmitted to 33 locations. Therefore, bettors at those 33 locations could have continued wagering after the start of the race. To protect the integrity of the pari-mutuel wagering pools at Hollywood Park, the decision was made to 'close and clear' those 33 locations, meaning that all wagers from those sites were ejected from the pools, so that nobody gained an unfair advantage. Close-and-clear is a safeguard in place at all racetracks to protect against incidents like this one.

CHRB Executive Director Kirk Breed said although Scientific Games and Hollywood Park have assured the Board there was no past-posting because all wagers from those 33 locations were cleared from the host pools, he said the CHRB has a responsibility to protect all bettors, including those who made legal wagers from those 33 locations only to have their bets thrown out along with those made after the start. He said representatives of Scientific Games have been asked whether steps are being taken to accommodate customers who would have won their bets if their wagers had been accepted into the host pools.

Breed also wants Scientific Games to explain why there was a problem transmitting the stop-betting command to those locations and what is being done to prevent this from happening again.

CHRB chairman John Harris added, “One important thing to remember is that the wagering pools at Hollywood Park were secure. It’s unfortunate that some people who wagered from certain out-of-state sites had those wagers voided and refunded, but our first priority is protecting the integrity of the pools, and from what we’re being told, that was done.”

(CHRB)

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