United Tote, the provider of pari-mutuel tote services to more than 150 racing operations including Churchill Downs Racetrack, has implemented the necessary technological changes to begin processing wagers and payouts that will benefit horseplayers around the world. The positive changes will come into effect Thursday.
Updated regulations regarding the withholding and reporting of pari-mutuel proceeds adopted by the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service on Monday became official Wednesday with their publication in the Federal Register. The modernized regulations, secured by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) with a prolonged lobbying effort in Washington, D.C., will drastically reduce the number of winning tickets that require withholding and reporting, which means more money will be returned to horseplayers.
Officials with the NTRA estimate that the new regulations could increase the amount wagered on U.S. pari-mutuel racing by as much as 10 percent annually, which will benefit all segments of the industry as owners, trainers and jockeys will compete for more purse money, breeders will enjoy increased demand for their bloodstock, and even government will benefit from additional tax revenue and less burdensome paperwork.
Racing associations, totalisator companies, and advance deposit wagering operators have up to 45 days to implement the changes. United Tote, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Churchill Downs Incorporated, is set to start Thursday at Churchill Downs for simulcast wagering and its eight-race “Twilight Thursday” program that begins at 5 p.m. EDT.
The finalized rules as published in the Federal Register can be accessed online at https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-20720.