08/24/2005 11:00PM

AmericaTab pays off in glitch

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AmericaTab has paid out winnings to at least one customer whose bets on the fifth race at Del Mar on Monday were refunded after the race had been run, the customer said.

Tom Ranftle, a Syracuse, N.Y., resident who had $57 in pick-four bets refunded on Monday even though AmericaTab's service indicated that the bet had been accepted, said that AmericaTab credited his account on Wednesday with $540, the amount his winning pick four would have paid had the bet been commingled into Del Mar's pools, and debited the account for all losing wagers he made on the fifth race.

AmericaTab officials have said that they refunded all bets on the fifth at Del Mar after the race was run because the company's bet-processing system did not make a connection to Del Mar's system before the race started. The system accepted bets on the race despite the lack of a connection.

Todd Bowker, general manager of AmericaTab, said Thursday that he would not comment on any payoffs or any other aspect of the incident. "We're still in the process of trying to work through everything that happened," Bowker said.

Ranftle said that a customer-service representative at AmericaTab "clearly stated that they were paying off the wager as strictly a customer-service courtesy, and that according to their disclaimers they really had no obligation to do so."