07/10/2008 12:00AM

California settles quick-pick case


The California Horse Racing Board has reached a settlement with Scientific Games that will require the tote company to reimburse any bettor who made a quick-pick wager in the state for a period of nearly 11 months stretching back to last July, the racing board and Scientific Games announced Thursday.

The settlement was the result of an investigation into the quick-pick option on betting terminals in which the random-number generator allegedly failed to include the last entrant in any race. The investigation was launched after a bettor complained to the board that the number 20 was omitted from 1,300 individual superfecta tickets made on the May 3 Kentucky Derby. Big Brown broke from post 20 and won the race.

The quick-pick option allows bettors to buy tickets for any type of wager with the numbers for the bet selected at random.

The racing board said that the malfunction was the result of a programming error in the software within the betting terminals. The option to place quick-pick bets has been disabled on the machines since May 9.

The settlement will require Scientific Games to refund any quick-pick bet made from July 1, 2007, to June 2, 2008, "as long as the person can establish placement of the bet through legitimate proof, including but not limited to a ticket stub," the racing board said. The refunds can be sought until June 2, 2009.

Also, Scientific Games will be required to pay the racing board $50,000 to reimburse the board for the costs of its investigation, and make $150,000 in charitable contributions to horse-racing causes, the board said.

The racing board said that "certain technical personnel" at Scientific Games had been aware of the problem since October of 2007.

Scientific Games provides bet-processing services for all racetracks in California. The company has the largest market share of any bet-processing company in the United States.