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Faster Horse Race Bet Payments Coming To Nevada

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • The Nevada Gaming Control Board has recommended changes to the way that horse racing bets are graded and paid.
  • Previously, race books were required to wait until confirmation was received from licensed disseminators to pay bets.
  • Under the proposed changes a race book will be allowed to determine the wager outcome from nationally televised broadcasts.

Slowly but surely, Nevada’s sometimes clunky gaming industry is moving into the 21st Century. There are antiquated components of Nevada gaming regulations throughout the casino and that even includes race and sportsbooks. While the image of the sportsbook circa 2020 is of a sleek, modern facility with LED displays and video screens there are still regulations on the books in Nevada that are decidedly backwards.

One prime example is the requirement that race books wait until they receive confirmation of race results from licensed disseminators before they pay winning tickets. For those of you not quite up to speed with your Nevada betting parlance, a ‘licensed disseminator’ is a third party company that delivers race results, wagering data and live simulcasts to casinos. The biggest of these is the Las Vegas Dissemination Company which serves the majority of the casinos in the state and quite a few elsewhere.

LVDC has plenty of important services they provide to the racing industry but at this point there are alternate sources of information to determine horse race winners and payouts. In most cases, the live action from the track is delivered (by LVDC in most cases) via video to race and sportsbooks. Currently, however, even if everyone in the room is watching a live feed of the race and the results are confirmed at the track the book must wait until they receive the ‘official’ confirmation from LVDC until they pay. You’ll find that requirement in Regulation 22.080 of the Nevada gaming regulations in a section entitled ‘Payment of Winning Wagers’:

22.080 Payment of winning wagers

4. A licensed race book shall determine the winners of or payouts on wagers on horse and other animal races only with information the book receives from licensed disseminators pursuant to Regulations 20 and 21.

The change was discussed and recommended on the regulation agenda of the August 2020 meeting of the Nevada Gaming Control Board:

The amendment will be considered by the Nevada Gaming Commission–the other arm of the Silver State’s regulatory system–at their August 27 meeting. Here’s the draft language of the regulatory change:

As I understand the language in the above draft revision, a book could get permission to grade tickets based on, say, the NYRA broadcast of the August 14 card at Saratoga which will be covered live on several networks:

I guess an alternate way to read that would be for approval to be granted on a per race basis–for example, a book could get permission to grade Sunday’s $500,000 Grade 1 Alabama for 3 year old fillies to be run at Saratoga on Saturday based on the TV broadcast. Since the regulatory language mentions that the book employee monitors and records the result of ‘each race occurred’ the broader reading is probably the correct one.

The net result of the change would be to speed up grading and payment of wagers and that is in everyone’s best interest. The change is supported not only by gaming regulators but by the operators of Nevada’s race and sportsbooks so I can’t really see a reason why it wouldn’t gain approval. It will take effect immediately upon passage.

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