03/06/2004 12:00AM

DiRocco, simulcast pioneer, dead


Charles F. (Chuck) DiRocco, a pioneer in horse race simulcasting and the founder and publisher of GamingToday newspaper, died of pneumonia early Saturday morning at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas. He was 69.

DiRocco was a racetrack publicist during the late 1960's and early 1970's at Latonia - now Turfway Park - and Arapahoe, among others. He moved to Las Vegas and, in 1976, founded the weekly newspaper Sports Form, which would later become GamingToday.

In the summer of 1980, DiRocco imported the first live full-card video simulcast from Arlington Park to the Union Plaza in downtown Las Vegas.

Services had yet to be arranged as of Saturday.