Speaker Series: Mark Thurman

March 20, 2023
Mark Thurman standing with RTIP students at the University of Arizona


Mark Thurman joined the Joe Hirsch Speaker Series on March 15th, to talk to RTIP students about the money flow in the horse racing pari-mutuel wagering system. Thurman has spent four decades in the racing industry, primarily as President and CEO of CHRIMS, one of the United States’s largest pari-mutuel settlement and accounting services. He has helped standardize many of the processes involved with pari-mutuel wagering, including the inter-tote system protocol (ITSP).

Thurman shared with students the origins and evolution of pari-mutuel wagering over time. He discussed with them the various tote networks and companies that develop the technology necessary to conduct parimutuel wagering, in addition to who bets into these pools, whether it be on-track, intrastate, interstate, international or online. He further emphasized the importance of these operations and how a company like CHRIMS would be beneficial in helping tracks and tote companies “settle up”.

He also shared the technical aspects of parimutuel wagering with attendees, such as price calculations, minus pools, and payout variances. Thurman wrapped up his discussion by talking about his successes, and some horror stories, during his career.  Students left with a new appreciation for racing’s money flow and the complications association with the pari-mutuel wagering system.