TULSA - Update...Details Sought With Racetrack Wager Glitch

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UPDATE TO POST BY MARTIN THOMPSON http://www.tulsaworld.com/Default.asp?WCI=Displaystory&ID=000403_Ne_a6detai

[Fair use for education and research purpose only]

Title: Details Sought on Payoff Snag

By TIM HOOVER World Staff Writer 4/4/00

County officials have questions about a racetrack wager glitch. Tulsa County officials questioned on Monday a telephone- related snafu at Fair Meadows Racetrack that left two women with a winning ticket that didn't pay off.

Members of the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority, which owns Fair Meadows, said they understood the frustration of the ticketholders, Paula Gentry and Darrla James.

The two picked four winning horses on a simulcast race March 24 but were told they could not collect on a $7,689 payoff because Fair Meadows' phone lines had failed to place the bet into a national pool of wagers.

"This is the first time I've ever heard of that happening," County Commissioner Bob Dick said.

Ron Shotts, Fair Meadows' director of racing, said last week that he was trying to get documentation from the tote board company in Montana and Delta Downs Racetrack in Vinton, La., to show that the wager never made it into the national pool.

However, Shotts said horse racing regulations say the track only has to pay the local pot on wagers that fail to merge with the national pool. In this case, that would be $240.

Shotts also said such technical glitches have occurred in the past at the track, although he said he could not immediately provide examples.

Dick said the track should consider posting signs to tell patrons about the chances of a technical glitch.

"It might be a good idea to have it posted in two or three places where the handlers are," he said.

County Commissioner John Selph said he wanted to know how many times such glitches had occurred.

"The last thing you want to do is convey the message that we don't pay off on our debts," he said.

The authority also voted Monday to approve a $57,542 appropriation from Expo Square's event surcharge fund to finish the new roof for the Oklahoma State University Extension Office on the fairgrounds.

The total cost is $110,542. County commissioners will contribute $50,000 toward the project and the extension office will give $3,000.

The authority gave approval last year to surcharges on events at the fairgrounds to provide for capital improvements. Construction of new buildings, financed through a $21.5 million bond issue, is to begin next year.

Tim Hoover, World staff writer, can be reached at 581-8447 or via e-mail at tim.hoover@tulsaworld.com.

Copyright ) 2000, World Publishing Co. All rights reserved.



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