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Commerce Casino to offer off-track betting

20 July 2009

COMMERCE, California –- As reported by the Los Angeles Times: "Horse racing, in a comeback bid, is headed for a casino near you.

"Beginning this weekend, horse racing fans can place bets and watch televised races at the Commerce Casino, the first new off-track betting site approved under a statewide initiative to whip up the struggling horse racing industry.

"At the new site, gamblers will be able to bet at electronic kiosks and follow races from across the country on a bank of 26 television screens. It will be the first of 15 new wagering sites -- sometimes called OTBs -- permitted by legislation approved in Los Angeles, Kern, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

"State and gaming officials are hoping the casino will be the first of 45 new 'mini-satellite' sites allowed in sports bars, card clubs, casinos and other gathering spots. The new sites, allowed under a 2007 state law, are in addition to the 34 betting facilities already operated by racetracks, tribal casinos and fairgrounds.

"So far, only two others -- a tavern and a restaurant in San Francisco -- have applied with the California Horse Racing Board to operate one of the newly permitted facilities. Gaming officials said the Commerce Casino site would be a test model to gauge the success of the initiative during troubled economic times..."

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