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Nevada may lose horse racing simulcasts

Jan 6, 2009 7:19 PM
Staff & Wire Reports |

TrackNet Media Group may be about to cut off its signals to more than 80 Nevada casinos on Jan. 25 -- originally Jan. 7, but now they've been given another two week extension -- that is unless a new agreement can be reached.

They want what they think are more equitable fees. But if no deal is reached, bettors in Nevada would not have access to simulcast wagering from TrackNet-affiliated tracks owned by partners Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment Corp. Currently, they simulcast from Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park and Fair Grounds.

Discussions began back in February of 2008 between TrackNet and the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association, which negotiates contracts for the 80-plus casinos handling pari-mutuel horse racing in Nevada. Apparently TrackNet didn’t receive a counter-proposal until just a few days prior to Santa Anita's opening day on Dec. 26 -- which was inadequate.

In the past, the Nevada casinos enjoyed a volume discount and were a larger percentage of the handle generated -- but these days, that percentage has fallen. Now most of the handle comes from other racetracks in other states that support live racing -- and paying purses -- but the casinos don’t have that overhead.

Increasing rates isn't the only issue on the table; their is also a demand for a detailed breakdown of wagering at the various casino-related outlets.