Mark Thurman

Mark Thurman brings more than 35 years of experience in the horse racing industry to CHRIMS as CEO and President. His list of accomplishments and contributions to the horse racing industry is long and robust, beginning in the early 80’s when he worked as a pari-mutuel auditor for the California race tracks. During this time, his CPA firm developed a spreadsheet program designed specifically to perform the pari-mutuel audit. Prior to this it was done with calculators, columnar pads, and typewriters. In 1987 he developed the first database application for pari-mutuel distributions and in 1988 The State of California had him develop a database to track all pari-mutuel wagering and attendance back to 1985. This was the inception of off-track wagering in California. The project was then expanded to calculate the pari-mutuel distributions for each day, track, location, day – night, and WPS and Exotic wagers. There was no such thing as download of the data then, and all data had to be manually input. The database was audited in 1992 by Cooper-Lybrand and certified as to its accuracy. In 1992 the California horse racing industry came together to create the funding to provide for a state-wide pari-mutuel accounting and distributions on a daily basis, this was the start of CHRIMS. Mark was also involved with one of the first tests of simulcasting in California in the 1980’s. There was a spring meet in Fresno and it became the first location to simulcast races from Bay Meadows, Golden Gate, and the Kentucky Derby. Towards the end of the 1980s the commingling of wagers started to occur. As the commingling of pools start expanding so did the need to be able to know what was being wagered downstream. The only way to get this data was nightly faxes from the downstream tote companies. Each morning hundreds of pages of faxes would be gathered and the data input into the system. The Thoroughbred Racing Association created the 2020 committee to develop a protocol for the comingling of pools between tote companies. This became known as the Inter Tote Systems Protocol, (ITSP). Mark was instrumental in working with other tracks and tote companies to create what became known as the TRA Settlement File. This file allowed for the wagering data from downstream tote companies to be captured. Being able to balance and verify the data was a difficult task. Agreed upon codes had to be established for each Track and Location. CHRIMS took on the task and still provides the industry with a centralized system to assign all Track Event and Location codes. In the early 1990s the telecommunications network consisted of dial and leased lines. There was a separate line for each track a host was wagering on and a separate line for each remote wagering on a track. Between the cost of faxing documents and the telecommunication lines for wagering, race tracks were spending exorbitant amounts on telephone bills. Mark was able to work with Autotote and create a telecommunications network using TCPIP to allow for the transmission of wagering data. This eliminated the need for a designated line for each track by allowing one circuit to handle all of the wagering. The cost savings were vast and impactful. Also, during this time, Mark worked on creating a faxback network for California which shifted the costs from the host track to the remote sites, saving the California racing industry additional money. In 2000, Mark went to work for Magna Entertainment and helped setup a standardized accounting system using Great Plains. This allowed for the monthly consolidation and eliminating entries for the financial reporting on a monthly basis. Mark left MEC in 2003. He then took time to pursue his Masters in Organizational Development and Executive Coaching. In 2004, he formed his consulting firm, The Thurman Group LLC. It did not take long for Mark to get multiple projects for the California Horse Racing industry, Scientific Games, and other horse racing industry clients. Mark resumed running CHRIMS, Inc. In 2007. Since then they have expanded their customer base on a global basis. CHRIMS, Inc. created a new company, Pari Global Solutions, Inc., in 2012 to provide services for non-California customers that are not government entities. CHRIMS\PGSI currently has more than 50 employees in the United States and India. They have moved into the international banking for pari-mutuel settlements and have kept creating better applications. The latest project is developing and integrating a gaming industry Enterprise Resource Planning system. They are fulling integrating all aspects of race tracks, off track, ADW, sports wagering, and casinos into a single source to manage all aspects of the gaming industry. Global wagering and the integration of settlements into a state-of-the-art transaction-based solution has always been Mark’s passion. Making sure clients have the tools and data analysis to run their operation better in order to compete in the entertainment world is not a goal but a necessity. Mark loves the world of business and helping people build businesses. On a more personal note, he loves dogs, all animals, reading, hiking, and writing. He also has a love of Hawaii; and enjoys exploring new travel destinations.