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Chris Sieroty

Contract deadline extended for parties to reach deal on horse racing

1 August 2012

Nevada gaming commissioners hope a three-week cooling off period helps the state's Off-Track Pari-Mutuel Wagering Committee and Las Vegas Dissemination Co. reach a deal on a contract.

The LVDC, owned by John Gaughan, provides pari-mutuel wagering and horse racing simulcasts to sports books statewide. The committee is given the authority by gaming regulators to negotiate a contract on behalf of all Nevada sports books.

If no deal is reached by Aug. 24, sports books statewide will stop accepting bets on horse races and replace simulcasts of races from tracks nationwide with other televised sporting events.

The LVDC's contract was set to expire late Monday, but Gaming Commission Chairman Peter Bernhard and Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli negotiated an extension.

"It gives all the parties, including our agency, adequate time to review the circumstances while protecting the public's ability to wager," Lipparelli said.

Bernhard said the control board would provide background information to the five-member gaming commission but "will not have a separate hearing."

Terms of the LVDC contract were not disclosed. The commission at its Aug. 23 meeting is scheduled to have a public hearing on the dispute over terms of providing pari-mutuel wagering and horse racing simulcasts.

"We are doing business as usual," said Johnny Avello, director of race and sports operations at Wynn Las Vegas and a committee member. "We are meeting with them, and we'll work out a deal for a new contract."

Gaughan was unavailable for comment Tuesday. He founded LVDC in 1988, which has grown to become the largest provider of pari-mutuel wagering and horse racing simulcasts, the company's website said.

LVDC is the exclusive pari-mutuel provider for Nevada's gaming industry and a number of major out-of-state casinos including Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut and Meskwaki Bingo & Casino in Iowa.