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Cal board lets tote company off the hook

Jul 14, 2008 8:02 PM

by Ray Poirier | Okay, you California horse players, dig out those betting records and losing tote tickets if you want to claim a refund from Scientific Games Racing LLC for having made Quick-Pick wagers without hope of winning.

That’s one of the provisions of an agreement between Scientific Games Corp. (SGMS) and the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) to settle claims that the tote company used a defective betting system to accept wagers on the Kentucky Derby.

The system, designed for California’s BetJet wagering terminals, included a function called Quick-Pick, that permitted the system to select the horses in a "Superfecta" wager…that is a betting format selecting the horses to finish first, through fourth, in the exact order.

Problem was that Big Brown, the Derby winner, was in position No. 20 and the system did not include any No. 20 in its four Superfecta selections.

After months of negotiations, the California regulators said Scientific Games, formerly Autotote, had agreed to make a $150,000 donation to racing-related charities; pay the CHRB $50,000 to cover investigative expenses; work on corrective action in the software with a report to be given the board by July 3, 2009, and pay refunds to the players who were defrauded, provided these folks can prove they actually made such wagers between July 1, 2007 and May 17, 2008.

Fortunately for horseplayers across the country, the BetJet machines were only utilized in California.