BALTIMORE — The Maryland Racing Commission approved Wednesday the testing of a system that will allow people to place bets from their homes.
"The group we're responding to is the under-30 crowd," said Mark Brenner, president of On Demand Services, a Tulsa, Okla.-based communications company developing the system.
The system is similar to pay-per-view television and will work by hooking a cable box to a television set.
When a person wants to make a bet, he can slide a credit card in the box and then punch in a PIN number.
The person uses the remote to choose a race, horse and wager. Money is deducted from an account that is established when the system is hooked up. Once the bet has been placed, the person can flip a channel and watch the race.
Start-up costs for the system in Maryland will be between $250,000 and $500,000, Brenner said. ODS will pay for most of the expenses. During the program's initial phase, the 25 testers will use play money and will only be able to bet, not watch video feed of the races.