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IRB NOTES

Illinois Racing Board

Pick Six can come back, Sportsman's maintains OTBs

The Illinois Racing Board today granted a request to reconsider suspending Pick (n) wagers. The board suspended these wagers at its November meeting in the wake of the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six situation.

All Illinois tracks are currently following the ITSB 5.18 protocol, which requires leg-by-leg scanning in multiple race bets. Other tracks currently following the prototcol are NYRA, and all tracks in Ohio and Maryland. Only tracks complying with the protocol will be able to send bets into Illinois pick (n) pools, and Illinois bettors will only be able to bet into other-state pools where all participants comply with the protocol.

All Amtote tracks will comply with ITSB 5.18 within the next two weeks. Autotote tracks will all be in compliance by mid-January. United Tote does not operate in Illinois, so did not have a representative at the meeting. IRB staff will monitor as tracks install the new protocol.

Intertrack wager location licenses were also up for renewal at today's meeting. Despite a request by harness tracks Balmoral Park and Maywood Park to strip Sportsman's of their three licenses in Crestwood, Joliet and Peru, these were renewed. The board noted that the National Jockey Club (Sportsman's) has a license to conduct a meet in 2003 and has operating control over a facility (via lease). The board also noted that Balmoral and Maywood have no standing to object because they have never owned those licenses. Also, any track can have up to six OTB licenses; none currently do.

Both Amtote and Autotote were licensed to operate in Illinois in 2003. Autotote representatives reported that all phone betting is now being recorded, and other security measures are being put in place.

Pari-mutuel real estate tax credits were also addressed. The motion was approved after an amendment for adding certain Sportsman's properties which will continue to be used for racing purposes. These include backstretch apartments and parking lots.

In other business, the board sent back for staff reconsideration the question of the 2003 purse recapture after the General Assembly's failure to authorize funding. The National Jockey Club's 2003 stakes schedule was approved, as were 2003 licenses for concessionaires.

The board also decided there was no need for another meeting on Dec. 17.

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