02/04/2008 1:00AM

No new talks for California, New York OTB


Officials for the Thoroughbred Owners of California and New York's offtrack betting corporations have not yet discussed a resolution to a dispute over the rate the OTB companies pay for signals from California tracks, according to an official at one of the offtrack companies on Monday.

Ira Block, the general counsel for New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation - which negotiates simulcasting contracts for all six state OTB companies - said that no discussions have taken place between the two parties since the the owners' group rescinded its approval for the OTB to take bets on California signals on Friday.

The action affected the signal from Santa Anita on Friday and Saturday and from Golden Gate Fields on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Santa Anita canceled its Sunday card because of lingering problems with its synthetic track surface, and Golden Gate closed its winter meet on Sunday.

Block said the California owners asked for a "premium rate" for bets made by customers of account-wagering operations who do not reside in New York, but he declined to provide details.

Drew Couto, president of the owner's group, said that New York's OTBs had previously paid a higher percentage for out-of-state wagers during the Hollywood Park fall meet but refused a higher fee for signals from other California tracks.

Other account-wagering companies pay more for an out-of-state bet, Couto said, adding, "We can't have New York OTBs getting a special deal."