02/06/2008 12:00AM

New York OTBs regain California signal rights


The Thoroughbred Owners of California late on Tuesday restored its approval for New York State's six offtrack betting corporations to take wagers on California races, officials for both sides said on Wednesday.

Drew Couto, the president of the California owners' group, said that the organization decided to restore the rights after determining that the OTBs had not been notified of the owners' position on fees for account-wagering bets. The owners' group had rescinded its approval for the offtrack outlets to take bets on California races on Friday, contending that the outlets should pay a higher rate for bets made by out-of-state customers of the companies' account-wagering platforms.

"We were acting under different understandings," Couto said. "We were acting in good faith, they were acting in good faith."

Couto and Ira Block, legal counsel for New York City Off-Track Betting, said that the groups would attempt to work out an arrangement on the rates for the out-of-state wagers over the next several weeks.

"The issue that led to the blackout remains unresolved," Block said. "But they've agreed to give us the rights to the signals while we try to come to terms."