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Sportsbooks Pushing for more Kentucky Derby-type betting in Nevada

Monday, September 28, 2020   /   by Ken Couture

Sportsbooks Pushing for more Kentucky Derby-type betting in Nevada

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Nevada gaming regulators are taking another swing at determining whether they should allow race books to verify results on animal races and make payouts based on nationally broadcast events.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Tuesday took more than an hour of testimony from industry representatives on both sides of the issue.

Prior to the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved an amendment to Regulation 22 overseeing horseracing operations that enabled Nevada racebooks to make payouts based on results viewed in nationally broadcast races. The regulation says race results can only be verified by licensed disseminators, but the exception was made for the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and the Breeders’ Cup because Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, and Nevada casinos were unable to reach a contractual agreement for providing race results.

When the commission voted unanimously to approve the regulation amendment, it approved the policy but ordered it to sunset on Nov. 19. The commission approval was made with the condition that the issue be explored in greater detail in a workshop setting.

In Tuesday’s hearing, participants were lined up the same way they were in August when the matter was first considered with representatives of the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association, the South Point and William Hill on one side, supporting the use of televised results, and Todd Roberts, president of Nevada Disseminator Service Inc. and the Las Vegas Dissemination Co. on the other.

Roberts contends that broadcasts are delayed up to 30 seconds and allowing their use could lead to past-posting incidents — the placement of bets after a race has started.

The proponents of the amendment did not advocate for the use of streaming services to check results, a process that could require legislative action in the 2021 session.

The Control Board didn’t take a vote on the amendment, but is expected to consider it in future meetings before making a recommendation to the commission for final consideration.

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