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CINDY M. NEIFERT v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/20/89)

decided: December 20, 1989.

CINDY M. NEIFERT, PETITIONER,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA STATE HORSE RACING COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



PETITION FOR REVIEW, (STATE HORSE RACING COMMISSION).

COUNSEL

James L. McAvery, with him, Michael J. McGovern, Law Offices of Gary M. Lightman, Harrisburg, for petitioner.

Randall N. Sears, Harrisburg, for respondent.

Norman I. White, with him, William G. Prins, McNees, Wallace & Nurick, Harrisburg, for intervenor.

Colins, Palladino and Smith, JJ.

Author: Colins

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 223]

Cindy M. Neifert (petitioner) petitions for review from an order of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission (Commission) which ruled that petitioner was not entitled to $9,648.80 for a winning twin trifecta ticket purchased from Mountain Thoroughbred Racing Association (intervenor) at Penn National Race Course.*fn1 We affirm.

Petitioner has been employed as a pari-mutuel clerk at Penn National for over 11 years. On December 18, 1988, petitioner was working the twin trifecta window. The twin

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 224]

    trifecta ticket is a form of wagering in which a bettor selects the three horses that will finish first, second, and third in each of two designated consecutive races in the exact order as officially posted. A patron approached petitioner's betting window and presented a winning ticket from the first-half of the twin trifecta. In order to be eligible to then pick the horses for the second half of the twin trifecta, the bettor must surrender the winning ticket for the monetary value established by the pari-mutuel wagering and a voucher which allows the bettor to choose his entries for the second half of the twin trifecta.

The patron was issued his winnings and an exchange voucher. Petitioner then waited on another patron. After this, the original patron returned to exchange his voucher for a live ticket for the second race of the twin trifecta. While waiting on the next bettor, petitioner realized her pari-mutuel machine was not operating properly. Petitioner, instead of having issued the patron a live ticket for the second half of the twin trifecta, had issued him a straight trifecta bet. Petitioner then issued a ticket on the voucher using the patron's numbers, paid for the straight ticket, and informed her fellow employees that if this patron returned, she was holding his ticket.

Nobody with a live ticket picked the order of finish for the second half of the twin trifecta. Nevertheless, this was the last day of the racing meet at Penn National and the Rules of Racing require a winner. Thus, the 12 individuals who picked the correct order of finish of the first two horses in the second half of the twin trifecta were entitled to $9,648.80 each.

The patron never returned to petitioner's window, so petitioner contacted the pari-mutuel office to inform them of the situation. A review of the computer records in the pari-mutuel office confirmed that petitioner had issued the wrong ticket. Petitioner requested to search the grandstand for the patron but was told to return to her ...


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