11/09/2001 12:00AM

It would be dull world without the Hub


When the Nevada Parimutuel Association and Las Vegas Dissemination Company inked a deal to continue to work together through June 2007 recently, many thought: Okay, so what?

Well, at a glance, this business relationship - which has existed since the inception of parimutuel wagering in Nevada - may not be front and center to the many players who fill the race books each day, but, if the agreement had lapsed, there may have been a stoppage of commingled parimutuel pools in Nevada.

Simulcasting burst into Nevada race books in the mid-1980's with the "for entertainment only" signal from the New York circuit first shown at Caesars Palace. Soon, simulcast signals were beamed into race books all over town for gaming purposes "only." With the growth came some undue risk. Bookmakers were showing races via satellite but were still taking the bets the old-fashioned way - by bookmaking. Players were clamoring for the big-ticket exotic wagers offered at the track.

It was obvious that the books had to join the world of commingling the Nevada wagers with the racetrack pools.

By 1990, the Nevada Parimutuel Association was created by a group of major Las Vegas casino properties headed by Caesars Palace, Hilton, and Circus Circus, to spearhead the new frontier of parimutuel commingling. Nevertheless, to facilitate such a massive volume of wagers, a systems operator had to be chosen and licensed to provide the technical resources necessary to process and distribute the monies from each book to each track of each transaction.

Las Vegas Dissemination Company committed and delivered such a system. This central processing center is known to the race book industry as the Hub.

Since this convergence of simulcasting and commingled pools in Nevada, Las Vegas race books were seen by the industry and race players as the simulcast center of the world. The substantial growth of simulcasting in Nevada led the way for many racetracks throughout the country in modeling their simulcast centers to race books.

So, without the LVDC hub and the NPMA, bookmaking and delayed audio race calls may still be the lay of the race book land - if at all - in Nevada. Now, with the new agreement extending for six more years, the service to Nevada race players will be uninterrupted and unnoticed.

In December, LVDC tabbed Vinny Magliulo to work on the seamless transaction. In hiring Magliulo, LVDC truly got someone who has "walked a mile in both shoes." Magliulo was in Caesars pinstripes, serving as race and sports book director, while an influential force in creating the NPMA and choosing the only licensed parimutuel hub in the state.

Both LVDC and the NPMA are proud of their long-standing business relationship and believe it has been beneficial to the industry in the state. In a prepared statement LVDC president and CEO, John Gaughan said, "LVDC remains committed to supporting the continued growth of Nevada's parimutuel industry. We look forward to working with the NPMA for many years to come."

Magliulo can now concentrate on innovations for Nevada race books and its players. The multifaceted company employs more than 70 people that cover a gambit of services offered to LVDC customers.

Among the new LVDC cutting-edge goodies offered to Nevada race books include the interactive player terminals that are currently featured in selected Las Vegas race books. The Green Valley Resort of Stations Casinos, that opens mid-December, will have a full complement of the IPTs. Each individual unit covers all betting information and live race signals of every track offered in the book at a fingertip.

The unprecedented growth of Las Vegas over the past 10 years has certainly not been overlooked by LVDC and the NPMA. Instate wagering pools have always been a possibility, now with the population boom and increased race book outlets - with almost 70 Nevada gaming properties offering parimutuel wagering - independent Nevada pools can support parimutuel participation.

Many of the popular proposition bets that the city's race books have been famous for offering individually may someday be available through an instate pool at any outlet. An instate pick six covering multiple tracks may also be on the Nevada racing horizon. With the extended agreement in place, LVDC and NPMA can now explore the possibilities.

So, that's what. And, that's good news for Nevada race players.

Ralph Siraco is turf editor for the Las Vegas Sun and host of the Race Day Las Vegas radio show.