01/26/2016 3:34PM

Simulcast glitch prompts cancellations


A handful of racetracks across the U.S. canceled racing on Tuesday when a national betting hub malfunctioned and the tracks were unable to accept simulcast bets on their races.

Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Sam Houston in Texas, Mahoning Valley in Ohio, and Monticello and Yonkers in New York all canceled wagering on their cards by 3 p.m. when problems with the betting hub could not be quickly resolved. The betting hub is operated by Sportech, previously known as Scientific Games.

Sportech officials did not immediately respond to phone calls on Tuesday afternoon after the tote problems became apparent. Track officials who returned calls on Tuesday said they had not been made aware of the exact nature of the problem.

Most of the tracks initially decided to delay their races in the hopes that off-track betting could be restored. Sam Houston canceled after a one-hour delay, with only $140 in the win pool and $136 in the exacta pool. All wagers on the canceled races at the affected tracks will be refunded.

Vince Francia, the general manager of Turf Paradise, said the track had been notified on Tuesday morning that the hub was down. The track initially delayed its first race from 12:40 local time to 1:15, but canceled after the hub was not back up as they approached the delayed post.

Francia said the tote hub was back up by 4:30 Eastern time, and he said he expected no problems with Turf’s operations on Wednesday, when the track has its next live racing card.

For most tracks, approximately 90 percent of bets originate in out-of-state locations. Betting hubs like those operated by Sportech collect the wagers from the sites and provide the calculations to determine odds and payouts.

Other tracks that were not served by Sportech, such as Louisiana Downs, remained open on Tuesday.