The New York Racing Association says it gave too much money to the state’s Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund and wants almost $1.2 million back.
An error in payments to the fund was noticed when NYRA undertook a comprehensive rate review, prompted by NYRA’s own takeout error, which cost gamblers more than $7 million. The overpayment, according to NYRA spokesman Ashley Herriman, was the result of NYRA using an incorrect formula to calculate the distributions to the fund.
“NYRA is addressing the matter with the Breeding Fund,” she said.
State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine, chairman of the breeding fund, said at a board meeting May 8 he planned to reach out to NYRA to learn all the facts about the issue. He said there were questions about how NYRA calculated the mistake and how the fund would pay the money back, if it decided to.
“In fairness to everybody ... I for one don’t feel comfortable with the facts,” Aubertine said.
According to the breeding fund’s website, the fund’s revenue comes from a small percentage of gambling on thoroughbred racing in New York, both on and off track, a percentage of the money left over when parimutuel payouts are rounded off and a small percentage of revenue from electronic gaming machines at the Finger Lakes Race Track.
During that meeting, breeding fund Executive Director Tracy Egan noted a November 2012 audit by the state Comptroller’s Office didn’t catch the mistake. She said the audit was critical of the fund’s review of its revenue, but noted the audit determined all the revenue received by the fund was correct.
At the April 11 meeting of the NYRA board, board member Stuart Subotnick expressed confidence NYRA would be repaid by the breeding fund.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had no comment on the issue Tuesday, saying he hadn’t looked at the details
In a spring meeting of the NYRA board, members acknowledged they still have not paid back all the funds they accidentally withheld from bettors and were trying to determine what to do with the remaining money.