FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH STATE LEADERS ON OFF-TRACK BETTING IN NEW YORK CITY
City Will No Longer Run OTB But Will Receive Ongoing Portion of Revenues Legislative Approval Expected Monday
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced an agreement with the State that allows for the creation of a new State entity to take over operations of Off-Track Betting in New York City, while ensuring the City receives a benefit from off-track wagering. This new State entity, embodied in a bill expected to pass both houses of the State Legislature on Monday and be signed by the Governor, will retain the approximately 1,500 OTB employees in New York City and also assume OTB’s financial liabilities. As part of this agreement, the City will continue to receive payments relating to tracks within the City, which last year resulted in approximately $4.25 million. In addition, the City will agree to provide OTB with access to the broadcast signals on city channels 71 and 73 to air races for $3.25 million annually. The term of this broadcast agreement is three years, after which the parties will negotiate in good faith.
“Although the negotiations went down to the wire, they produced an agreement that truly belongs in the winner’s circle,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “Working with State leaders, we have put out to pasture a fiscally flawed arrangement with OTB – one that threatened to divert City funds from police and fire protection, public schools, and other essential services. Instead, the City will continue to receive a public benefit from racing that takes place in New York City.
“Last year, the City contracted with a consulting firm to undertake a comprehensive study of NYC OTB,” Bloomberg added. “It concluded that the State’s racing industry, in both its on- and off-track entities, needed to be structurally and economically realigned. Today’s agreement gives the State the opportunity to begin to do that. I’d like to thank the Governor and legislative leaders for working with us to achieve this long-term solution. I’d also like to thank OTB President Ray Casey for his tremendous service to New York City.”
Today’s agreement means the 68 OTB sites located in New
York City will open Monday as regularly scheduled.
Jim Anderson (212) 788-2958