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YouBet winners lose/win

Apr 22, 2003 6:57 AM

It was explained as a transmission failure but for the people who successfully bet the trifecta in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct last week, the explanation wasn’t enough”¦ they wanted their winnings not an explanation.

The players made their wagers on the nationally televised race through the online wagering company, YouBet.com that maintains a wager processing center at its hub in Oregon. All wagers on all racetracks across the country, made with YouBet.com, are initially sent to Oregon and are then distributed to the tracks so that the information can be incorporated in the tracks’ wagering pools.

Normally the system works efficiently but that was not the case for the Wood Memorial. Following the running of the race, the customers who had correctly selected the first three horses were rewarded with a trifecta payoff of $83.50 for every correct ticket purchased.

However, some 12 hours later, YouBet.com officials realized that the accumulated wagers at the Oregon Hub had not been transmitted to Aqueduct, thus the wagers were not included in the race payoff calculations. Following the "operating plan" that had been approved by the Oregon Racing Commission, YouBet.com officials cancelled all wagers, both winners and losers. The winners found their "winnings" deducted and the losers were delighted to find their accounts had been inflated with their "losing" wagers.

That was not the case with Television Games Network, operated by the more popular TVG. Officials said that normally they also would refund any wagers not commingled with the tracks’ pools but in this case their customers were told by their system that their wagers had been accepted so they honored the winnings bets.

Further reflection by Youbet.com officials brought a change over the weekend. Chuck Champion, the company’s chief executive officer, announced that the company will award "Promotional credits" to the players who were denied the $83.50 payoff for their successful wagers. The credits were being offered to quiet the fury generated by the company’s initial actions.