Fans' guide to the new system

January 29, 1993

Fans should experience few changes in their trips to the betting windows under the new pari-mutuel system at Laurel, though they will have to get accustomed to a new mutuel ticket and slower lines, at least until tellers become thoroughly acquainted with the Spectrum 2000 keyboard.

With this in mind, here are some things to consider, as well as


Different tickets: The square piece of paper that pops out of the new terminal bears little resemblance to the old rectangular mutuel ticket. It's a compact version with a generic look and no distinctive logo.

All the same information is printed on the ticket although placed in different areas. That will take a little getting used to. Also, some of the abbreviations are different. For example, the shortened version of "Exacta" is now "Ex" instead of "Exa".

There is one new item: the time the ticket was purchased is printed in the upper-right corner.

A word of caution: Inspect tickets carefully. Tellers are working with new terminals and new keyboards and might make a mistake.

Be patient: In the long run, the Spectrum system is designed to make betting go smoother and faster, especially when Laurel and Pimlico begin taking wagers on full-card simulcasts from out-of-state tracks. The new technology is needed to accommodate a cross-cash system when the state's first OTB parlors are opened in the spring and when inter-tracking starts with Rosecroft and Delmarva raceways.

Bet early: That should help avoid getting shut out from slow-moving lines.

Cashing old tickets: Special windows have been set up for fans who need to cash winning tickets from races before installation of the new system.

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