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.