NYC OTB's Loss Bookies' Gain?

Published: December 13, 2010 02:27 pm EST

New York City Off-Track Betting Board Member David Cornstein has said that he fears those looking to place a wager on horse racing will now look toward illegal bookies now that NYC OTB is finished


On December 7 at 12:00 midnight, NYC OTB, which handled more than $750 million in annual wagering on horse racing, shut its doors for good.

The final announcement came after the New York State Senate voted down a bill to save the bankrupt network.

A report by WNYC News says that 40 years ago New York was the first state in the United States to create an OTB system. The goal of the system was to bring illegal betting above ground and generating revenue for local government.

In regard to ways to wager now that NYC OTB is closed, Cornstein was quoted as saying, "It'll be a local bookmaker or, from what I understand, they now have a lot of places offshore. But [betting on horse races is] not gonna go away."

(With files from WNYC News)

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Nothing says NYCOTB is more out of touch than statements by Mr. Cornstein. Illegal bookmakers once were the ONLY way to place a wager outside of a racetrack. In today's market I'm surprised Cornstein isn't aware of all of the LEGAL ways to place wagers via Youbet, TVG HRTV and many racetracks.

OTB did clean up illegal bookmakers horse action when it opened, but by that time most bookies didn't want to take horse bets anyway.

As per Mr. Schott's suggestion, OTB was to surrender its on-line and phone betting accounts to NYRA-Yonkers in return for staying in business. Neither NYRA or Yonkers wishes to take over the physical OTB locations.

Here is a a logical move. Allow Yonkers and NYRA to open jointly operated OTW facilities in NYC. This is the way it should have been done forty years ago,