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Public ‘Misled’ Over New York Racing Association Overcharges
The Racing and Wagering Board on Monday released a report that paints New York Racing Association President Charles Hayward as “willfully allowing the take-out violation to continue after it was brought to the NYRA’s attention”.
Hayward had previously described about $8.6 million in overcharges to NYRA customers as an “unintentional oversight”.
“The NYRA Board of Directors takes the concerns expressed in this report very seriously,” said NYRA Chairman C. Steven Duncker. “I have already spoken with Franchise Oversight Board Chairman Robert L. Megna and will be in further communication him with as we review the report and respond in a timely manner.”
Capitol Confidential reports that the Racing and Wagering Board investigators noted correspondences between Hayward and his former associate, Steve Crist, whereby the two men acknowledged the problem and agreed to remain silent.
From Capitol Confidential:
It (the report) says: “In August 2011 (almost a year after the rates had expired) the Daily Racing Form (DRF) publisher and columnist Steve Crist passed along an email from a DRF reader indicating the rates had expired and were outside the parameters of the Racing Law. Mr. Hayward emailed Mr. Crist on August 1, 2011 confirming that the reader was correct and requested that Mr. Crist keep the information confidential. Mr. Crist agreed.”
Here’s more detail: “On August 1, 2011 Steve Crist, Daily Racing Form publisher and columnist, passed an email along from a reader. Crist asked Hayward if the reader was correct. The reader expressly indicated that NYRA’s rates were not in compliance. The reader wrote: “The 2008 NYCOTB takeout increase legislation included a sunset provision that went into effect on September 15, 2010. (Article 2 Section 238 of the Racing, Pari-Mutuel and Breeding Law) The takeout limits allowed by law are now 12-17% for w/p/s, 14-21% for exacta/double wager 15-25% for tri/super and P3/P4 and 15-36% for P6 with no separate rates for carryover and non-carryover pools. (Please note that the tri/super/P3/P4 takeout is currently at 26% which is currently outside the parameters of the law) [emphasis added].
“Later on August 1, 2011 Hayward responded to Crist: “This gentlemen is correct. [emphasis added] Off the record, we have been working on this for some time. We originally had thought that we would announce this for Saratoga but political forces intervened. Since we are showing substantial losses in 2010 and 2011 and we have been smacked around by Cuomo (and he could check the SRWB from approving), we decided to wait. Also, the regional OTBs who collectively lost money in 2010 will scream like stuck pigs and that would provoke Skelos who is very tight with the guys who run Nassau OTB to introduce anti-NYRA legislation for the benefit of the OTBs. Finally, we are quietly working on a plan to open 10 or so restaurant/bars in the city and we did not want the politicos to block this effort. We have some internal debates on how much to lower each pool and how we would present this to our simo customers, the consumers and the politicos. I would appreciate it if you could keep these details confidential. I would also welcome a further discussion on this topic with you before the meet is over.
“On August 1, 2011 Crist emailed Hayward: “Will keep it confidential and would love to discuss possible reduction schemes with you off the record whenever the time is right.”
- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com
Submitted by Gilbert Horowitz on Mon, 04/30/2012 - 15:55