01/08/2009 12:00AM

Interim Nevada pact reached


Simulcasting from tracks owned by Magna Entertainment Corp., and Churchill Downs Inc. to Nevada casino race books will continue at least until Jan. 25, after a temporary agreement was reached on Wednesday.

The larger issue of the distribution of revenue from bets placed in casino race books remains unresolved and could disrupt parimutuel betting from Nevada casinos later this month. Track officials are seeking a higher percentage to be dedicated to racetracks and horsemen.

Officials with the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association, representing casino race books, and TrackNet Media Group, a venture between Magna and Churchill, met on Wednesday. If an agreement is not reached later this month, simulcasting from Magna-owned tracks Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, and Santa Anita and Churchill-owned Fair Grounds could be disrupted.

TrackNet's chief executive, Scott Daruty, was optimistic that an agreement could be reached this month.

"We wouldn't have granted an extension without significant progress," Daruty said.

The temporary extension allows for simulcasting to continue through the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association handicapping tournament at Red Rock Casino, near Las Vegas, on Jan. 23-24.

The two sides are expected to meet again in coming days, according to Patty Jones, the executive director of the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association.

"It seems like it was good that we got to hear more detail on their side of things and vice versa," Jones said.