02/20/2004 12:00AM

Account bets on Cal. Table

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Members of the California Horse Racing Board and officials with the Thoroughbred Owners of California restated their desire to address problems in the state's account-wagering services at a parimutuel committee meeting on Friday.

The key issues are the lack of widespread distribution for Magna Entertainment Inc.'s Horse Racing Television signals from Santa Anita, Bay Meadows, and Golden Gate, and the inability of California's racetracks to make their races available to all account-wagering services in the state. Committee members said the problems would be considered when the three wagering companies - XpressBet, Television Games Network, and Youbet - apply to renew their licenses next winter.

Currently, California bettors must hold a TVG account to bet on Del Mar, Hollywood Park, Fairplex Park, Los Alamitos, and Oak Tree at Santa Anita, and an XpressBet account to bet on Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, and Santa Anita. Youbet, which has a smaller distribution, offers all.

In another development, the committee took no action on a proposal to cut off betting from the wagering hub in Lewiston, Me., at the announced post time instead of when the gates open. Lewiston is the hub for several wagering services in the Caribbean that have large bettors with the ability to influence pools in the moments before betting closes.

The proposal was considered a way to eliminate the late odds changes that have left many bettors frustrated when prices on eventual winners dropped during a race. Tote officials told the committee that a system is being developed that would send betting information to pools as soon as they are made and not in batches at 20-second intervals.