02/05/2007 12:00AM

NYRA signal still stalled


The New York State Racing and Wagering Board as of Monday afternoon had yet to approve seven individual contracts between the New York Racing Association and outlets in the association's simulcasting network, according to a spokesman for the board and a NYRA official.

Officials for the board were working on the approvals, the spokesman, Dan Toomey said, but it was unclear on Monday whether the contracts would be approved by Wednesday, when NYRA's Aqueduct would reopen after two consecutive dark days and a canceled race card on Sunday.

"We're obviously processing the information, but we do have some additional questions for NYRA on the contracts, and whether we can approve the contracts [by Wednesday] depends on their responses," Toomey said.

Last week, more than two dozens outlets in the United States and in foreign countries had to drop Aqueduct's simulcast signal when the board failed to approve their 2007 contracts with NYRA by a Jan. 31 expiration date contained in their previous contracts. The delay occurred after NYRA asked the board earlier in the year to approve each of its contracts on an individual basis, rather than the blanket approval the association had sought in the past.

Bill Nader, an executive vice president at NYRA, said that the two largest outlets that had yet to be approved were AmericaTab, the account-wagering company, and the Lewiston, Maine, bet-processing hub, which serves OTB's in Maine and scattered locations across the United States. Nader said he was "pretty confident" all the contracts would be approved by Tuesday afternoon.

"We're working hard, and I think we'll be in good shape on Wednesday," Nader said.