02/22/2013 2:26PM

Pick five takeout could increase sharply for Hollywood meet


ARCADIA, Calif. – The takeout rate on the popular 50-cent pick five could rise sharply for the spring-summer meeting at Betfair Hollywood Park later this year unless track officials and the Thoroughbred Owners of California reach an agreement on the distribution of revenue.

Track president Jack Liebau told the California Horse Racing Board at its Thursday meeting that discussions continue but that the takeout rate could rise from the current promotional 14 percent rate to the standard exotic takeout rate of 23.65 percent in the absence of a deal.

Liebau said that a majority of the takeout at the 14 percent rate goes to purses and that the track receives a nominal fee.

“We are hoping there will be a fairer arrangement in respect to the spread,” he said. “There have been some discussions with the TOC about that. I hope that those discussions will be fruitful.”

TOC president Lou Raffetto said on Friday that he expects a deal to be reached before the start of the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting on April 25.

“I’m confident we’ll work it out,” he said. “Based on our discussions, we’ll come to some sort of agreement.”

With a low takeout and cost, the 50-cent pick five has surpassed the pick six as the leading jackpot bet in Southern California. From Feb. 14-17 at Santa Anita, the pick five pool averaged $287,854, while the pick six averaged $222,145. The pick six outhandled the pick five $337,155 to $231,272 on Feb. 15 when there was a $55,960 carryover in the pick six.

Also at the meeting, the racing board was told by staff members that the state’s office of administrative law is reviewing rules and regulations to allow exchange wagering in the state. The office of administrative law has 30 days to complete the review and is expected to complete its study by March 15.

If the rules are approved, exchange wagering could be in place later this year, provided that oversight technology is implemented and a financial agreement is reached among a track operator, horsemen, and an exchange wagering provider.

If the office of administrative law does not approve the rules, there could be a delay to allow for corrections in the rules and regulations, the racing board was told.

Exchange wagering allows bettors to back or lay horses to win or lose.

The board gave a conditional license to a mini-satellite in Lake Forest, Calif., which is in Orange County. Construction is expected shortly to begin on the former restaurant site, which could open for simulcasting by late summer.