02/07/2002 1:00AM

Support for old takeout levels


Maryland racetracks and horsemen have agreed to support legislation that would rescind the takeout increases put in place in 2000 to pay for renovations at Laurel Park and Pimlico, officials said Thursday.

The legislation, which has not yet been drafted, would restore the takeout on win, place, and show wagers to 17 percent, down from the current rate of 18 percent. Takeout on exactas and daily doubles would be cut two points and restored to 19 percent, and trifectas would be cut from 25.75 percent to 25 percent.

The takeout increases were included in a bill passed in 2000 that was intended to raise money to underwrite a bond sale by the Maryland Jockey Club, owner of Laurel and Pimlico. Although $5 million has been raised so far through the increases, officials said Thursday, investors have not reacted warmly to the bond proposal, forcing the MJC to scrap the idea.

The Maryland legislature is scheduled to adjourn on April 8.