02/12/2003 1:00AM

Horsemen issue simulcast paper


The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association released a largely educational document on Wednesday outlining to its affiliate members how simulcasting is conducted in the United States and other countries.

The document fell short of advocating any specific policies endorsed by the horsemen's association, including any language addressing the controversial issue of rebates. Instead, the paper lays out the economic impacts of simulcasting and includes a description of a handful of U.S. and foreign account-wagering companies.

"This is a working document, it's a living document, and before we get into any of the nuts and bolts, we have to start at the beginning," said Remi Bellocq, the executive director of the NHBPA, which has over 30 affiliates in the U.S. and Canada.

"That means putting the basics into writing."

Association officials laid out the basic structure of the paper during a national convention in late January in Phoenix. At the convention, the group's president, John Roark, said the paper would likely include language endorsing rebates - which usually take the form of cash given back to a high-rolling gambler based on handle - as long as horsemen shared in the betting.

Bellocq said that NHBPA officials stepped back from the rebate issue because of its complexity.

"We're not going to delve into rebates in any official form yet, because it's such a gray issue, and this paper is really a first step," Bellocq said.

"What we do know is that it's a very complex issue, and right now we don't have a position one way or another."