Letter To The Editor: In Response to Computer Assisted Wagering

by Richard Resnik

I am writing in response to one of the comments on Dan Liebman’s Letter to the Editor on computer assisted wagering. I am certain the CAW issue is drowning you and there are more important voices than mine to be heard.

I will take this opportunity to share a few pieces of relevant information that form the basis for my ire on this issue. First, I am 77, a retired litigator and at a point in my life where betting is part of horse racing as a hobby. I was never a big bettor, but I am now betting 10-20% of what I used to bet.

My enjoyment comes from playing contests online and picking a race here and there to bet. And it is not just me–it is all my friends who have shared this passion with me for up to 50 years. (The photo of me and my wife at Royal Ascot–me in Dave Johnson’s top hat–is available on request.) To use a Bronx expression, I would have to be a schmuck to continue to bet as in days of yore in the face of the CAW issue (among others) and my parents did not raise a schmuck. Second, I was at the NHC in March.

In the past, much of the gossip centered around the super-trainer issue and their magical powers. Not this year. All conversations were dominated by the CAW issue. As a well-known owner said to me, “it is the elephant in the room.”

Finally, the lack of transparency is troubling. Although it is fairly well-known now that NYRA and Stronach are partners in Elite Turf, both entities have attempted to secret that ownership. I had used Xpressbet as my primary ADW.

When Stronach’s involvement in Elite became known, I was troubled. I wrote to Xpressbet, expressed my concern that the playing field was not level and received the following response: “Stronach has no interest in Elite Turf.” I replied by advising the sender that I was a retired litigator who did a lot of fraud litigation and I asked, “Are you stating that Stronach or its affiliates have neither a direct nor indirect interest in Elite?” I received the same form response.

I will not allow myself to be treated like that and my wagering has gone elsewhere. I am a minnow–if that–in the scheme of what is going on and have found a successful work-around to enable me to continue to enjoy my hobby. I am troubled at the racing press’s lack of focus on this issue and appreciate your being a captive audience. Thanks for listening.

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