New York City OTB Closes

Published: December 7, 2010 10:24 pm EST

The North American horse racing industry suffered a massive blow on Tuesday when it was confirmed that New York City Off-Track Betting, an entity that handles more than $750 million in horse race wagering annually, will shut its doors for good at 12:00 midnight


The final announcement came after the New York State Senate on Tuesday voted down a bill to save New York City's Bankrupt OTB network.

Both standardbred racing and thoroughbred racing are expected to suffer tremendously from the loss. On the final evening of off-track wagering at NYCOTB, six of the 12 tracks offered to customers were standardbred racecards. Woodbine's harness racing product was a regular staple on the New York City OTB network.

As reported by the Times Union, Senator Eric Adams, a Democrat from Brooklyn and chairman of the chamber's racing and wagering committee, said: "A no vote on this bill lights the wick to a stick of dynamite that will blow up our racing industry."

Following the "no" vote, a statement was posted on the New York City OTB website:

Unfortunately this afternoon, the NYS Senate chose not to pass the bill passed by the Assembly that would have saved NYC OTB. Therefore, due to a lack of unrestricted funds to continue in business, NYC OTB will be ceasing all pari-mutuel wagering operations today, Tuesday, December 7, 2010 as per our Board of Directors vote, and will proceed to the orderly winding down of its business affairs.

Three branches will remain open in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan for six calendar days after the last day of operations so that customers can cash tickets/vouchers and make account withdrawals. Thereafter, these transactions can be conducted at NYCOTB’s customer service center located at 1501 Broadway in Manhattan for up to six weeks.

To read more about the closure from the Times Union, click here.



Michael I. Deutsch

It never ceases to amaze me how politicians can obfuscate issues and ignore the simple efficient solution to any problem. Of course NYCOTB should go through bankruptcy-- but that does not mean that all the revenue should be lost. Have emergency legislation put in place to allow the tracks to take over all off-track wagering systems..with the income divided between the horsemens' purse accounts, racetracks and the breeding industry. Once in place we will have a tremendous boom in racing that benefits all involved (including the State of NY) and it will resonate throughout the industry.

Too many polticinas - not enough problem government.. The Rooneys, Gurals and Saratoga's operators as well as the remainder of the track operators in NY should be delighted to and should have no problem taking over the off-track and tele-wagering operations once given a clear field. They may negotiate and creeate their own labor force necessary for an efficient service oriented operation(s). And there will be no more millions stolen from the racing industry.. More of the same is not acceptable and a short period of adjustment while putting the favorable solutions into effect will be more than compensated for in short order by the rewards

Sadly Mr Carter, Mr Shott, Mr. Colbert are spot on. If only the Racing Industry could be only accused of closing the barn door after the horse ran away. In fact they opened the door and turned away and let him loose!

The salaries being drawn by numerous people involved (or better yet not involved) in these OTB's were responsible for them being in the situation they are in anyhow. Don't know how the state could in good conscience keep them going!

I have to agree with John, The closing of NY OTB is the biggest blow so far and shows that no one cares about racing anymore. Racing doesn't seem to care anymore either. They (Horseman and Track operators) refuse to make any changes or try to change the public image about racing. If you need an example of these issues, look at New Jersey. It really amazes me that these things happen and still we continue with the same bull#@^# that got this industry in trouble in the first place.

How about coming up with ways of bringing in fresh blood?
How about promoting the sport?
How about showing how we are trying to clean up the game and stop all the crap that goes on (life time bans to start)?
How about giving the fans something back like the slot and table players get?
How about letting the public know that racing happenens more then 2 days a year (Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup)?
How about new ideas on Wagering and making the wagering uniform from track to track?
How about tracks working together instead of always competing against each other?

Come on everyone. If anyone out there wants to save this sport lets get going ... If not the slow death will continue...

What I would like to know is why NYRA the moment the Senate bill failed started promoting free bus rides to Aqueduct from OTB locations as well as suggesting people open up NYRA ADW accounts. What did Yonkers do? Nada. No mention of OTB closing, no attempt to get them to open YR ADW accounts or to have them drive up to Yonkers.

That shows something equally disturbing.

Tick, tick, tick, what is that sound. It is the clock ticking on the race game, yet again another blow. The sad part is the race game is no closer now to fixing there problems then they were 10 years ago. The truth of the matter is the wrong people are running the major race tracks. The industry needs new blood in pretty much every position of power through out the industry.