03/03/2003 1:00AM

California cuts off casino


The California Horse Racing Board has told Hollywood Park and Bay Meadows that they will not be able to send their simulcast signals to an operation in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, during the tracks' live meets later this year.

The Idaho operation, a Native American casino, was openly taking account wagers from California residents, a violation of California law, according to Roger Licht, the board's chairman. California law requires that account-wagering companies be licensed by the board before taking bets from California residents, and the Idaho casino is not.

Board officials said the order would be rescinded if the Coeur d'Alene casino agreed to drop its California customers.

Rick Baedeker, the president of Hollywood Park, said that customers of the Idaho casino bet an average of $28,000 each day on the Hollywood signal during the track's fall meet last year.

"It's not huge, but nothing is insignificant anymore," said Baedeker.

The board did not cut off the signal from Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, both currently running live in California. Licht said it was too complicated to shut off the signal in the middle of a contract.