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Autotote inserts bet monitor

Dec 24, 2002 6:32 AM

He could have found himself too busy generating new contracts to avoid facing the movers and shakers of the pari-mutuel industry at the annual Racing Symposium conducted recently by Arizona University’s Race Track Industry Program.

But, to his credit, Lorne Weil, chairman and CEO of Scientific Games Corp. (SGMS) showed up, ready to explain to whoever was interested what programs the SGMS subsidiary, Autotote, was instituting to prevent another Breeders’ Cup Ultra Pick Six scam.

It was a software engineer, familiar with the tote program that permitted Autotote to withhold identifying actual ticket selections on pick six tickets until after the first four races are completed, who manipulated a $12 ticket for a confederate to give him the only winner worth more than $3 million.

Autotote fired the individual and cooperated with investigators who uncovered the betting scheme.

Within a few days of the incident, Autotote announced procedures it was utilizing on systems of its clients to prevent a repetition of the conniving and brought in a company with expertise on monitoring system activities to detect skullduggery.

Meanwhile, the company announced it had developed six new international pari-mutuel contracts for clients in France, Mexico and Korea.

The company also said it had restructured its debt with the replacement of a new facility consisting of a revolving credit facility due in 2006 and a $290 million term loan due in 2008.

As for its fiscal experience, the company said it expects 2003 diluted earnings per share to be between $0.50 and $0.60. The First Call average estimate of analysts is $0.53 a share.