02/02/2008 12:00AM

N.Y. OTBs can't take California


New York's six Off-Track Betting corporations are no longer permitted to simulcast or accept wagers on racing from California after the group representing that state's Thoroughbred owners withdrew its consent to allow the signals from Santa Anita and Golden Gate to be shown.

The Thoroughbred Owners of California withdrew its consent based on a dispute over rates that New York's OTBs pay for the signal, after learning that New York's OTBs take wagers from account holders that don't reside in the state of New York.

TOC president Drew Couto said that New York OTB wants to pay "a rate less than half'" of what is charged to other interstate providers such as TVG, Xpressbet, and Twinspires.

"Why should OTB receive a rate that's less than half of what all other companies pay?'' said Couto, who added that OTB paid the same rate as everybody else during Hollywood Park's fall meet.

The TOC pulled its signal shortly before post time of Santa Anita's first race on Friday.

Ira Block, legal counsel for New York City OTB, which negotiated on behalf of the state's six OTB systems, said OTB had reached agreement with all racetracks represented by TrackNet Media Group, which includes Santa Anita and Golden Gate.

"Santa Anita and Golden Gate have agreed to terms with us,'' Block said. "They want to have a contract with us, they want to send us their signal, they want us take wagers on their races, but they're being prevented from doing so by the position that the horsemen of California have taken.''