No More OTB in NYC? Last Minute Reprieve Could Happen

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
OTB New York City

OTB or Off Track Betting has announced it will cease to exist in New York City as of this Friday December 3, 2010. But could the troubled 40-year-old betting firm get a last minute reprieve?

Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson of Brooklyn will be calling the Senate back into session on Tuesday in order to consider a bill that would save the OTB.  Any shutdown would result in 800 employees losing their jobs.

New York Governor David Paterson has also stepped in to try and find a last minute solution.

Nonetheless, it was looking as if Friday would be Doomsday.

From the Brooklyn Eagle:

Thursday, things were so far gone that the organization provided the Eagle with a detailed step-by-step plan for closure ending at the end of today’s business day — down to who picks up the petty cash and who will inform the workers.

One Brooklyn branch, at 67-19 Bay Parkway, as well as two in other boroughs, would have remained open for six days for bettors to cash in their tickets.

While the concept of an off-track betting system was approved by New York City voters in a 1963 referendum by a three-to-one margin, the official history of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation began on April 22, 1970, according to the OTB website.

On that date then Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed into law two pieces of legislation which established the structure of off-track wagering.  NYCOTB was designated to operate as a public-benefit corporation, a relatively new form of governmental entity run along the lines of a private enterprise whose profits go to the taxpayers in the form of public revenue.

- Aaron Goldstein,

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