03/22/2012 2:52PM

California Horse Racing Board begins process of determining exchange betting rules


ARCADIA, Calif. – The California Horse Racing Board has launched the lengthy procedure to approve rules for exchange betting, a process that may not be completed by July when supporters want to implement the bet at the Del Mar meeting.

At its monthly meeting on Thursday at Santa Anita, the board voted to submit exchange betting rules for a 45-day comment period, during which public and industry participants can submit opinions. The comment period is the first stage of a process that will eventually involve a second review by the racing board, the possibility of further comment periods, and eventually a legal review by the state’s office of administrative law before exchange betting can commence.

Betfair, which owns TVG and operates the world’s leading exchange betting system, and Del Mar, are hoping to have the rules implemented by the start of that track’s meeting on July 18. It is questionable whether the rules will be finalized by then. Several organizations in the sport have expressed opposition to various aspects to exchange betting, which allows customers to post odds and accept wagers on whether a horse will win or lose a race.

After the upcoming 45-day comment period, the racing board will consider the feedback from the public. At a later meeting, possibly in June, the racing board will review potential changes to the rules. The board could approve the rules at that time, or if widespread changes are considered vital, send the rules back out for another 45-day comment period, essentially restarting the process.

If the board does approve rules, the secretary of state’s office must review legal terms before exchange betting will be allowed. Exchange betting is also subject to agreements between horsemen, tracks and exchange betting systems.