10/19/2006 12:00AM

Progress on late-dropping odds

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A consortium of racetracks and North America’s four bet-processing companies have developed hardware and software that will allow tracks to post near-final odds within 10 seconds of betting being closed, a racetrack group, the Thoroughbred Racing Association, said Thursday.

The new hardware and software, which the TRA will seek to implement in its member tracks before Jan. 1, is designed to address late odds-changes, which have been a source of complaint from racing fans in recent years. Association officials said that the new system would “alleviate, though not completely solve” the problem by calculating odds 10 seconds after the windows close. Typically, bet-processing companies wait 30 seconds to a minute before calculating final odds.

Late-odds changes can occur for a variety of reasons, including state regulations that require betting pools to be consolidated in separate locations before the information is transmitted to the host track. In addition, the emergence of computer-wagering systems that dump huge bets into the pools just before the post has complicated efforts to eliminate the late odds-changes.