05/12/2002 11:00PM

AmericaTab limits New York bets


New York customers of AmericaTab's six online betting sites were cut off from betting on New York racing signals indefinitely on Monday, AmericaTab confirmed, just one week after the signals were added to the company's sites.

The decision is likely related to a letter sent last week to several New York racetracks from Julian Lynch, the chief of racing operations for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. In the letter, Lynch said the tracks had failed to notify the board of "any new contracts or addenda to existing contracts allowing your simulcast signal" before AmericaTab offered the tracks' signals.

Stacy Walker, a spokeswoman for the board, said that it was illegal for account-wagering services to offer betting on New York tracks without the approval of the board. She said that neither the tracks nor AmericaTab had asked for approval.

Todd Bowker, AmericaTab's general manager, referred all explanations about the decision to the New York Racing Association, which owns Belmont, Aqueduct, and Saratoga Race Course. NYRA officials could not be reached for comment on Monday, a dark day at Belmont.

"I was asked to take them off, and I complied," Bowker said.

Last week, under a new agreement, AmericaTab started offering betting on signals from tracks that have exclusive online betting contracts with Television Games Network. TVG has signed some of the most popular tracks in the country to the agreements, including NYRA and the Churchill tracks.