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HORSE RACING

Betting revenue dispute is settled

November 22, 2008|Bill Dwyre | Dwyre is a Times staff writer.

Horse racing smoothed over its most recent dispute with a settlement Friday that will make Hollywood Park's broadcast signal available to four advance deposit wagering companies.

The dispute was over the amount of betting money returned to race tracks by four ADW companies -- TVG, XPressbet.com, TwinSpires.com and Youbet.com.

In order to offer betting on races at Hollywood Park, the ADW companies must get the track's broadcast signal. The signal is the domain of the horse owners who provide the track with its product.

The Thoroughbred Owners of California withheld Hollywood Park's signal in a bargaining effort to increase the ADW's payback to more than the existing 7%. Hollywood Park President Jack Liebau said the TOC's bargaining effort, while noble, was drastically hurting the track's revenue in its autumn meeting that began Oct. 29. Liebau estimated Hollywood Park was losing as much as $500,000 a day in ADW revenue during the blackout.

The settlement boosts the ADW payback rate to 8.5%, with some also paying 2% to 2.5% host fees.

Liebau said Friday he was happy with the process and especially happy it was completed in time for Hollywood Park's prestigious Turf Festival racing over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Drew Couto, president of the TOC, said the one-year deal for all California tracks would allow both sides to analyze the impact on each. "We can sit down and compare notes and see how this worked out for everybody."

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bill.dwyre@latimes.com

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