12/03/2014 4:46PM

Stronach tracks, MidAtlantic Cooperative still at odds


A simulcasting cooperative and the company that holds the rights to signals from a dozen tracks, including Gulfstream Park, have been unable so far to reach a resolution to a dispute that has shut off signals at simulcasting sites in a handful of states, officials for both sides said on Wednesday.

The dispute is taking on a greater sense of urgency as opening day at Gulfstream approaches on Saturday. The Gulfstream signal is one of the most popular winter simulcasts in the United States, especially on the East Coast, where many of the affected sites are located.

Phil O’Hara, the executive director of the MidAtlantic Cooperative, which represents 23 racetracks, said on Wednesday afternoon that the two sides have talked over the past 24 hours and that he anticipates conducting additional negotiations over the next 48 hours. Asked if he envisioned whether the dispute could be resolved by Saturday, O’Hara said: “I wouldn’t even want to speculate.”

The cooperative represents most of the racetracks in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas, along with a smattering of sites, mostly harness tracks, along the Eastern seaboard.

Scott Daruty, the president of Monarch Content Management Company, confirmed that the two sides had talked over the past day and also said he anticipated more discussions in an attempt to head off a blackout of Gulfstream.

“We’re going to do as much work as possible but I really can’t say whether we can get it done in time,” Daruty said.

Monarch is owned by the Stronach Group, which owns Gulfstream, Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, Laurel Park, Pimlico, and other tracks. Monarch also controls simulcast signals for tracks that are not owned by the Stronach Group, such as Tampa Bay Downs and Turf Paradise.

Signals from the Monarch tracks were shut off last weekend at some MidAtlantic sites, with blackouts at the other sites starting on Monday, when a previous contract between the two sides expired. Daruty said that Monarch remains open to allowing the sites to wager on the Monarch signals while negotiations continue, but that the cooperative has refused.


b a More than 1 year ago
How's come it's so hard to find an update on this situation?
Richard Kennedy More than 1 year ago
No Updates on this situation. DRF is not covering this story adequately.
Richard Kennedy More than 1 year ago
johneckert9 More than 1 year ago
First time I am not even thinking of betting horses in quite a long time. Not going to buy the racing form. If anything, they effectively lost one customer. Good job!
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
It sure looks like Magna won this battle... The Claiming Crown Series did 10% better than last year when the Co-op (23 tracks) was in the play. They will now have to come begging for a new deal to get back in. The Race Card was great, the payoffs outstanding. Let's do this again next year!
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Monarch not Magna..
Victor More than 1 year ago
Monarch always writes their contracts to expire at this time of year because this is the only time of year it has any leverage, with Gulfstream and Santa Anita being the only major tracks running, both of which they control. Monarch is standing firm now because it thinks it has Mid-Atlantic over a barrel and Mid-Atlantic knows that all they have to do is ride this out until the Spring when no one will care because racing will be in full swing again, expecting Monarch to crack. Monarch is demanding more from the harness tracks - half of Mid-Atlantic's group - on the premise that they're contributing nothing to the thoroughbreds which ignores the obvious fact that their cuts support their own standardbred runners. Stronach thinks that money belongs to him because he offers "premium content", but he thinks we're too stupid to realize that he isn't charging the Meadowlands one cent more than the thoroughbred tracks because they're part of his group. Stronach has always been a carpet-bagger, is today, and always will be.
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
Has there been any update with this situation?
Robert Clayton More than 1 year ago
Is it that difficult to in one of the 300 articles just list all the tracks affected so we know what to not waste our time on if we are in the affected area
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
I'm giving this BS to Friday before I open an online account that has nothing to do with either side. Don't give them your money either side.
Mike C More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend Twin Spires. I've been a customer for years. Not bet charges, free PP on the tracks you bet. I haven't been to a track in years. Got my big screen, computer, and nice lazyboy recliner. What a life.
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
I can try they have restrictions in place as PA residents. Cant open account within 35 miles of track.
Victor More than 1 year ago
@Ian GW No restrictions of any kind in PA on either TVG or Twin Spires. I live right outside Philly and I can even bet Quarters.
Michael Lacolla More than 1 year ago
I was told by a manager at Parx that Monarch wants an increase to 20 cents on every dollars wagered. Currently they pay 3 to 5 cents on every wager to Monarch. A large increase.Midatlantic Coop will not pay that amount so this could take some time to resolve. Both sides must come to a middle on this. Again, we horseplayers are stuck in the middle with no say. Amazing one of the most difficult things is to get a wager in at the track of your choice.
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
At least your keeping us in the loop. You have more passion then these jerks who don't care about racing or it's customers. I don't see them giving us any type of updates and with Sat looming some of us cant wait much longer before going to another online wagerer like TVG or Bet America.
Robert Clayton More than 1 year ago
You're funny......20% is more than the takeout on many bets
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
It's all business. I can't blame Monarch for trying to get the highest fee they can, but, the truth is Monarch tracks put out a poor product and if I'm MidAtlantic I wouldn't pay it either. Horse players will play NY, Kentucky and So Cal anyway. Because it's winter Monarch has a bit of an upper hand with Gulfstream and Tampa at this time. But, winter won't last forever.
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
Their product is better than all three you mentioned combined.
Robert Clayton More than 1 year ago
Every year when these places have the most leverage they try to correct an error they made years ago letting these places have the signals so cheap.....These Mom and Pop ADWs that provide nothing to the racing world have stolen all the whales because they pay 4% for the signal and get an average of about 20%.....and they rebate 14% of that money back to the whales because they have basically no overhead....Real racetracks that support the game and have all the overhead of a live meet should pay a much lower price than the parasites that exploit the game and siphon millions form the pockets of real racetracks
Charlie More than 1 year ago
Smaller ADWs generally pay more than tracks for content, and in fact, pay the same and sometimes more than the big 3 ADWs for content, which means that horsemen and tracks get more money from them on a bet than they do on a bet made through the larger ADW. True, the customer gets rebated at many of these smaller ADWs but that money is usually wagered back and the horsemen and racetracks benefit from that as well. The same money that is rebated at the smaller ADWs is kept as profit for the most part by the bigger ADWs.
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Well said, Buck.
Walter More than 1 year ago
Santa Anita is included also, it is owned by Stronach.
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
I surmise that the outlets resisting the signal all have slots and are "racinos". Why not? Only a small percentage of those in attendance are racing patrons compared to the slots players. These outlets really don't care because the bulk of their money comes from slots.