11/03/2004 1:00AM

Simulcast impasse settled


LAS VEGAS - A contract impasse between the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association and Churchill Downs Inc. that left the state's race books having to book their own bets on the opening day of Hollywood Park's meet Wednesday was settled Wednesday afternoon, said Julie Koenig, director of communications for CDI.

Koenig said Wednesday afternoon that contracts were being exchanged and that the race books were expected to be taking the Hollywood signal by Friday at the latest.

Representatives from the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association, which represents the state's race books, and Churchill Downs Inc., owner of Hollywood Park, refused to reveal the reason for the impasse, except to say it had nothing to do with the fee the race books pay to Hollywood for the signal.

"Our policy is not to go into specifics of contracts as that is proprietary information," said Koenig.

Without a contract, the race books cannot offer parimutuel wagering on a track's signal, nor take the video feed from the track. The races were shown live in Nevada race books on Wednesday using the feed from TVG.

In 1997, a contract impasse over simulcast rates between Nevada's race books and the California tracks lasted for 8 1/2 months.

Horseplayers on Wednesday were forced to place their wagers before two minutes to post and were limited to win, place, show, exactas, quinellas, trifectas, and pick threes. Superfectas, pick fours, the place pick all, and the pick six were not available.

Books on Wednesday reverted to their house rules, which rarely are used in this era of commingled parimutuel pools. Some books were limiting payoffs at full track odds to the first $50 to $100 in straight bets and capped exactas and quinellas at 150-1 to 200-1 and trifectas at 500-1.

Contracts were already in place between the race books and two other Churchill Downs Inc. tracks currently running, Calder and Churchill Downs.