|ALAN LANDSBURG NEW CHRB CHAIRMAN - ACCOUNT WAGERING REGS PROCEEDING ON SCHEDULE|
|September 21, 2001|
POMONA, CA –
The California Horse Racing Board approved 15 proposed regulations for
public notice Friday, setting the stage for account wagering to be in
place in January after the proposed regulations pass through the
The seven racing
commissioners also voted unanimously to elect Commissioner Alan Landsburg
chairman and Commissioner Roger Licht vice chairman of the CHRB. Landsburg
fills the post being vacated by Chairman Robert Tourtelot, who is
completing nearly eight years of service on the Board.
eventful meeting, a bare majority of the Board approved a 2002 racing
calendar for Northern California that restores six racing days to Bay
Meadows. The Board voted unanimously to restore one day to the Solano
presentations by jockey Chris McCarron and Dr. L. Wayne Gertmenian, who is
the current president of the Jockeys’ Guild, the Board approved a
transfer of $680,180 from the uncashed pari-mutuel tickets fund to a trust
account providing medical, vision, and dental benefits to nearly 150
active and retired California jockeys and their families.
Tourtelot began the meeting by requesting a “moment of silence for those
taken during the tragic events of September 11.”
and staff have been working diligently with the industry and the public
over the last month developing 30 pages of regulations covering all
aspects of advance deposit wagering, which is authorized by a new law (AB
471) that takes effect January 1.
Licht, who chairs
the CHRB Pari-Mutuel Operations Committee, spent countless hours
communicating with the public, industry representatives, and the staff in
helping to develop the proposed regulations. With CHRB senior management
auditor John Reagan leading the team of staff members on this project,
they began by obtaining and reviewing regulations from other states that
already have such programs in place, then they painstakingly developed the
proposed regulations for the California program.
Pari-Mutuel Operations Committee conducted a public meeting Thursday
focusing solely on account wagering. During several hours of discussion,
Licht and the other two Committee members – Commissioners William Bianco
and Landsburg – revised the language of some of the proposed regulations
based on suggestions from the public and the industry.
Rodney Blonien, a
Sacramento lobbyist familiar with the regulatory process, commended the
staff for “doing such a first-rate job developing excellent regulations
thanked the staff for “doing such a great job in a short period of
time.” He said he feels “very comfortable with the proposed
regulations, considering that they’ve already been reviewed by all
segments of the industry” and by some members of the public, and their
input has been incorporated into the proposed regulations.
“I am confident
that the industry as a whole and particularly the horsemen will benefit
immensely from account wagering in California,” said Licht.
regulations include the following key elements:
Deposit Wagering (ADW) means a form of pari-mutuel wagering in which an
account holder residing within or outside California establishes an
account and then authorizes a Board-approved licensee, betting system,
California hub, or out-of-state hub, by telephone or other electronic
media, to place wagers on the account holder’s behalf.
order to operate an ADW system, applicants must post a $500,000 bond or
other financial security, which protects the betting pools and customers,
and provide financial information demonstrating their financial resources
to operate such a system; establish security access policies and
safeguards; protect the confidentiality of account information; ensure
that persons under 18 and other people prohibited from wagering at
racetracks cannot open accounts; and include in their promotional
literature contact information for a recognized problem-gambling support
wagering transactions shall be recorded and retained for 180 days.
ADW wagers will be included in the respective pools at each racetrack.
will be no surcharge for any wager. The payoff for an account wager will
be the same as an on-track mutuel (although the law does allow for
can be made in cash or by credit card, check, electronic fund transfer, or
other traditional means of deposit or payment. However, in their own best
interests, applicants may instruct the operator not to accept deposits by
are protecting people from themselves by allowing them to opt out of
credit card deposits,” said Landsburg. “We also are limiting them to
wager only with the funds that already are in the account and just one
additional deposit or refill per racing day. There will be a 24-hour
cooling-off period before they can wager with additional deposits or
change their option not to use credit cards.”
regulations do not address such matters as the number and location of
races on which account holders may place wagers; whether individual
racetracks will accept wagers from a single account wagering system or
multiple systems; whether those systems will charge fees for each wagering
transaction; or how the simulcasts of the races will be delivered to
Jack Liebau, an
executive with Magna Entertainment, which operates Santa Anita Park,
Golden Gate Fields, and Bay Meadows, anticipates these matters being part
of the contractual agreements between racetracks and the system operators.
45-day public notice period, the proposed regulations will come before the
full Board for a public hearing on November 30 at the University of
California at Davis. The entire regulatory approval process should then be
completed in January when the new law takes effect.
This was the last
meeting for Tourtelot, who was first appointed to the Board in 1993, then
reappointed in 1997. His fellow commissioners, CHRB Executive Director Roy
Wood, and representatives of labor and the horse-racing industry took the
opportunity to express their appreciation for his years of service. Their
heartfelt remarks prompted an emotional response from Tourtelot.
couldn’t leave without expressing my appreciation to the staff of the
California Horse Racing Board,” he began. “The people behind the
scenes are the ones who make the rest of us look good. And heading the
list is Roy Wood, who is absolutely the number one executive director in
some incredible people in racing throughout the United States, especially
here in California. I’m sorry to be leaving, but I’m not going to be
gone from racing. I’ll still be around.”
John Harris making the nominations, the seven commissioners voted
unanimously to name Landsburg chairman and Licht vice chairman.
was a founding director of the Thoroughbred Owners of California and has
owned and bred thoroughbreds since 1976, was appointed to the Board last
November 22 by Governor Gray Davis. Prior to his appointment, he served on
CHRB advisory committees. Landsburg wrote, produced, and directed the
award-winning “Biography” television series, and founded his own
production company in 1970. He shared his technical expertise with the
Board in 1996 by helping to develop a CHRB video entitled “Protecting
Licht, a Los
Angeles attorney, was appointed by Governor Davis to the Board on March 8
of this year. Until that time, he was representing jockeys, trainers, and
other licensees in disputes with the CHRB. A thoroughbred owner since
1995, Licht spends a great deal of time at racetracks and is familiar to
jockey agents, trainers, other horse owners, turf writers, radio show
hosts, racetrack executives, and fans.
In August the
Board approved a majority of the 2002 racing calendar, including a portion
of the Northern California calendar through March 31, but delayed action
on the balance of the northern calendar in order to receive more input on
the Racing Dates Committee proposal for the thoroughbred and fair meets.
The two members
of the Racing Dates Committee – Tourtelot and Harris – conducted
another in a long series of public meetings Thursday, then presented a
proposed calendar to the Board on Friday that was unchanged from the
August proposal except for the recommendation to reinstate one day of
racing (Monday, July 15) at the Solano County Fair, which the Board
As part of their
proposal, Tourtelot and Harris recommended reducing the two meets at Bay
Meadows by a total of six days – part of an overlap with the Northern
California fairs. They felt that some adjustment of the racing dates could
help increase the size of fields at the northern venues and enhance the
viability of racing in the north.
“Mr. Harris and
I believe that the present number of racing dates in Northern California
is higher than the current horse population can sustain,” said Tourtelot.
“This has been
a real agonizing time for me personally,” said Harris. “We spent a lot
of time trying to come up with something that we feel balances the
The other racing
commissioners voiced their own opinions.
at the statistics and I’m not convinced that the smaller field size has
anything to do with the overlap (between the major meets and the
fairs),” said Licht. “I’m also concerned about the potential loss of
jobs attributable to cutting days at Bay Meadows.”
Marie Moretti said, “We’ve got a solution to the wrong problem. Dates
have to be considered over a long period of time. Racing is a 24/7
business with a lot of components that we need to deal with. We need to be
innovative. I don’t think we should penalize a business (Bay Meadows)
that is feeding and clothing horse racing in California.”
suggested that everyone “start thinking out of the box.” He suggested
experimenting with the racing schedule, perhaps by adding overlap days,
not reducing them, noting that “the more programs we run, the more
handle comes in, generating more money for purses and race meets.” He
also challenged the California horse-racing industry to launch a
“determined and sustained effort to bring in horses from other states”
and keep them here.
Sheryl Granzella said, “I believe Bay Meadows is being unfairly
punished, and I can’t agree with taking away as many days as suggested.
I’m also a big supporter of labor, and I don’t want to see the
employees get hurt.”
“The economy was weak even before considering what happened last week. I
would hate to see anybody losing any employment whether it’s one day or
a week. I would hate to cut any dates considering the way the economy is
Landsburg, and Licht voted to restore the six days to Bay Meadows. Harris
and Tourtelot voted against the motion. Moretti abstained.
As approved by
the four-member majority, the Board adopted the balance of the Northern
California calendar: Bay Meadows, April 3 through June 16 (55 days);
Stockton, June 12 through June 23 (10 days); Pleasanton, June 26 through
July 7 (11 days); Vallejo, July 10 through July 21 (11 days); Santa Rosa,
July 24 through August 5 (12 days); San Mateo, August 7 through August 19
(12 days); Ferndale, August 8 through August 18 (10 days); Cal Expo,
August 21 through September 2 (12 days); Bay Meadows, August 30 through
November 11 (55 days); Fresno, October 2 through October 14 (11 days); and
Golden Gate, November 14 through December 22 (29 days).
The Horse Race
Law provides for the funding of a health and welfare program for
California jockeys and their dependents from uncashed tickets. The
Jockeys’ Guild was selected by the Board to administer this program and
created a trust account for that purpose. McCarron, who is a Guild
director, appeared before the Board with Gertmenian and Guild
representative Darryl Haire to request a 15% increase in the allocation
for the current year. Furthermore, they indicated that with inflation, a
poor economy, and rising costs, they will be seeking another increase
before the end of the year.
approved the 15% increase, providing a total of $680,180 to the trust this
year, and asked the Guild representatives to submit the proper request and
documentation to support any additional request.
gratitude on behalf of all California jockeys and their dependents,
Gertmenian said, “California, Delaware, and West Virginia are the only
three states with this type of program. I’ve traveled around the country
during my short term (as Guild president), and I’ve discovered how
incredibly lucky the jockeys in California are.”
business, the Board approved license applications for race meets at
Hollywood Park from November 7 through December 17 and Golden Gate Fields
from November 7 through March 31, 2002.
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