News Releases

Friday, April 09, 2004Contact: Bob Curran (212) 521-5326
Industry Organizations Working on Wagering Systems Upgrade

Representatives of several major racetrack organizations, industry organizations and tote companies have joined together to support a project that would improve the industry's wagering-systems infrastructure, security and network capabilities.

The basic goal of the project is to upgrade the existing platform and overcome limitations inherent in the current tote-to-tote communications network by replacing it with a "next-generation wagering system."

The project team includes representatives of Churchill Downs Incorporated, Magna Entertainment Corp., New York Racing Association, AmTote, Scientific Games Racing, United Tote, The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA).

"This is a business initiative driven by the racetracks' need to serve our customers more effectively," said Karl Schmitt, president of Churchill Downs Simulcast Network.

"Creating a user-friendly tote system that operates in real time with the latest cyber security is intended to place customer service at the center of our systems design effort," said Steve Keech, chief information officer of Magna Entertainment Corp.

The project team will also work closely with the newly established National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Office of Wagering Security (OWS) to develop minimum, uniform standards for the pari-mutuel wagering system and provide the capability for real-time security monitoring by the OWS.

"The inclusion of all industry stakeholders gives this project the greatest chance of success," said Alan Marzelli, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club.

Chris Scherf, executive vice president of the TRA, echoed a similar sentiment from the perspective of the racetracks. "The continued leadership of our three largest racetrack companies will be a key factor in driving this process forward, and additional racetracks have indicated keen interest in the project and its goals."

Officials said that a comprehensive project plan is now in the works and that periodic media updates will be provided over the course of the next several months.

For more information contact:

Karl F. Schmitt Jr.

Churchill Downs Simulcast Network

(502) 636-4595

Bob Curran

The Jockey Club

(859) 521-5326