11/07/2001 1:00AM

TVG deemed legal in Maryland


The Maryland Racing Commission has concluded that Television Games Network is not violating state law by taking account wagers from customers in the state, a racing commission official said Wednesday.

"It looks like they are all in line and they are seeing to it that they are in compliance," said Ken Schertle, the executive director of the commission. Schertle added that he expected the state's attorney general to agree with the commission late on Wednesday.

TVG, a 24-hour broadcast and wagering network that is available over cable systems in Baltimore and over the Dish network nationwide, has an agreement with the Maryland Jockey Club to take account wagers in the state on behalf of the MJC, which owns and operates Pimlico Racecourse and Laurel Park.

The racing commission had raised questions about TVG at a meeting in late October, saying that they did not understand how the MJC was complying with a state law requiring all bets to go through a Maryland hub, among other concerns. The TVG hub is located in Oregon.

MJC and TVG officials turned over legal documents last week explaining how the agreement complied with state law, officials said, and Schertle said the commission had accepted nearly all of the companies' explanations.

"There's one issue with a bond, that it wasn't exactly as we wished it in order to cover the accounts held by Marylanders," Schertle said. "But we've been told that they will now provide a bond in excess of that amount, so we're set to go."