Good news brings in the new year

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – The new year has begun with some good news from around country involving access to wagering on top grade horseracing. Oaklawn Park and Churchill Downs have each reached agreements with their respective horsemen’s associations to allow distribution of signals to advance deposit wagering (ADW) outlets.

Oaklawn Park, which opens its 2009 season on Friday, January 16, the Arkansas division of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, and TrackNet Media finalized an agreement on advance deposit wagering. Oaklawn Park races will be available on the ADW outlets owned by TrackNet Media, TwinSpires.com and XpressBet.com, as well as to Youbet.com for 2009.

“This agreement was worked out through the outstanding efforts of Dr. Earl Bellamy, president of the HBPA in Arkansas,” noted Oaklawn Gaming and Wagering Director, Bobby Geiger. “Our discussions were always businesslike and never contentious, which makes it a pleasure to work on an agreement like this with Dr. Bellamy.

Officials of Churchill Downs, Inc. and representatives of the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (KHBPA) and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA) also reached an agreement that allows Churchill Downs to offer its live racing signal for distribution to ADW’s. Churchill . Downs’ 52-day Spring Meet opens on Saturday, April 25.

“We are pleased to have reached a resolution for the spring 2009 meet at Churchill Downs,” said Rick Hiles, president of the KHBPA. “We believe the agreement will bring great benefits to our horsemen and will promote Kentucky racing throughout the country.”

“We look forward to moving forward together in an effort to preserve and promote racing in Kentucky and at Churchill Downs,” said David Richardson, president of the KTA. “This agreement is one step in that important process.”

The new year also brings an extension between TVG and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) for a multi-year television and account wagering contract, The agreement has been submitted to the New York Racing and Wagering Board for approval.

“Our customers will continue to enjoy racing action from Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga for a number of years,” said TVG’s president David Nathanson. “We expect regulatory approval shortly, which will enable us to make Aqueduct races available for television and wagering purposes.”

As I wrote last week all facets of the horseracing industry must work with each other to promote the sport and expand its availability.

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