USTA Home > News Home > NYC OTB to remain open for another year

NYC OTB to remain open for another year
Monday, April 19, 2010 - from Harness Tracks of America

       Decrease Text Size    Increase Text Size   Print  Email

Tucson, AZ --- Sandy Frucher announced over the weekend that Albany had agreed to an “interim plan” which would enable him to keep New York City OTB open and alive for another year after twice announcing its closure.

He says NYC OTB will be smaller, trimmer, and “paying market rates to tracks for their races.” He didn’t announce what market rates were, saying, “I can’t quantify at this point the amount of pain we’ll be inflicting on the racing industry. There will be pain.”

Frucher said NYC OTB would be half the size it was within a year, with half of its 1,300 workforce laid off and dozens of its betting shops closed. Reports from Albany said the proposed 15 percent cuts in payments to tracks would not be part of the solution, but as to monies NYC OTB owes to tracks nationwide, including millions to Yonkers and NYRA in New York, prospects were dim.

“You can’t pay what you don’t have,” Frucher said.

He reportedly will close up to 40 of OTB’s 60 or so betting shops, replacing them with some 1,500 “KwikBet” Internet wagering terminals in sports bars, following a model already in use in Capital, Suffolk and Nassau OTB operations.

Frucher announced his new plans on Saturday, when his board voted to continue operations for a year after a three-way agreement was reported from Albany involving Senate and Assembly leaders and Gov. David Paterson. That agreement had not been officially voted on in the legislature as of this morning, but seems sure of passage.

The Derby, Belmont Stakes and Saratoga meetings lie ahead, three events that are among the most profitable for OTBs.

Frucher said closure would have a “profound negative effect” on racing. Gov. Paterson’s office said he “supports Sandy Frucher’s efforts to keep New York City OTB open and will continue to work with him to come up with a longterm solution to this problem.”

Related Articles :

Salive to call races in Ontario this summer

Search Articles: