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Jersey tracks ask for $10,000 limit on show bets

May 01, 2008

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Meadowlands and Freehold Raceway officials have asked the New Jersey Racing commission for permission to place a $10,000 limit on show bets, saying that large bets, plus reductions for various commissions, lead to large minus pools that costs the track money. The request includes bets on live racing as well as simulcast races.


“We often in the past have been victimized by extremely large show bets that adversely affect us and purse accounts,” said Freehold Raceway director of racing Peter Koch. “I don’t think it’s possible to catch all of the situations where the might occur. We prefer having a limit.”


New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority senior vice president Dennis Dowd noted to the commission that minus show pools may sometimes cost a track as much as $25,000 to pay off on all the winning bets. Dowd noted that tracks are able to eliminate show wagering in certain instances when a prohibitive favorite is involved, but said he prefers to keep the pools open as often as he can.


“Often when you discontinue show wagering on a race, you annoy customers,” said Dowd. “Somebody might tell us that their mother wanted to make a show bet on a horse with her name in it but found there wasn’t show betting allowed. We would probably discontinue show betting less with this (limit) in place.”


If the New Jersey Racing Commission agrees to a show limit, the state would become the first to impose any sort of wagering threshold.

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