Stratosphere, Arizona Charlie's cuts race betting

Jan 31, 2009 8:04 PM
by GT Staff |

While the contract dispute between TrackNet and the Nevada books continues, the Stratosphere and its sister Arizona Charlie’s properties (Decatur and Boulder) won’t be taking horse racing wagers at five affected tracks either Saturday or Sunday.

"To do races is a lot right now being a smaller book so we won’t have Santa Anita, Gulfstream, Golden Gate, Oaklawn and Laurel either Saturday or Sunday due to our heavy workload with the Super Bowl," said Ed Malinowski, race and sports director at the Stratosphere. "The tracks are off Monday and Tuesday so we’ll see what happens after that."

Nevada books have had to go without the signals from those five tracks, which are part of the TrackNet Media Group that involves Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment. The 80 some members of the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association are booking pictureless bets themselves, without benefit of simulcast television.

"I can understand the attitude of bettors who would question coming to the race book at all to bet since they can’t watch it," Malinowski said. "Right now we’re just waiting for the Super Bowl to be over and then we will address the matter."

Malinowski said if the dispute involving those five tracks goes into Wednesday’s card, his book would do its own bets on a limited basis. "If nothing is agreed upon we will be forced to book it ourselves," he said. "We’ll do win, place, show, exactas, quinellas and trifectas with caps. There won’t be any superfectas, Pick Six or most other exotic wagers."

Scott Daruty, president and CEO of TrackNet said in the Harness Tracks of America Daily Newsletter that the volume has dropped by 6-to-11 percent on TrackNet tracks and that Nevada casinos, "are adamant about not paying a materially significant increase."

Stratosphere and Arizona Charlie’s East and West will be booking all tracks this weekend and beyond not affected in the TrackNet dispute. TrackNet wants higher fees for its signals, while the casinos feel they deserve lower rates because of the betting they generate.

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