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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Signed, Sealed, Delivered [Updated]

Showing that Albany really can get things done quickly if they want to (and if facing an immediate interruption of revenue flow), the OTB bill is already signed, sealed, delivered it's yours, courtesy of Albany Law School's Bennett Liebman, and thanks as always to Mr. Liebman for the info. The contentious takeout clause is right there on page one with the new rates, increased by one percent, in capital letters. If someone can find the part about these rates sunsetting in two years, please point it out to us.

Tom Precious reported on that there is also a one percent increase on all bets made in New York state on out-of-state tracks. While I haven't yet applied the fine tooth comb to the document, I'm not seeing that either, and I really hope that's not the case. That would smack more of a surcharge than takeout; nor does it really make much sense, as it would most certainly drive horseplayers to open accounts with out of state ADW's.

Matt Hegarty reports in the Form that Governor Paterson has instructed Senator John Sabini to take a "whole-cloth look" at offtrack betting operations over the next several months.

Sabini cautioned that overhauling OTB would be difficult politically based on the entrenched positions of the corporations and their historical resistance to change.

"You can't go into it and assume you are going to achieve a total state takeover without goring a few oxes," Sabini said. [DRF]
[Update: Ben Liebman writes in to point out that the sunset provision is in the final section of the bill (which is actually still awaiting the formal signature of the governor). In addition, there are indeed provisions to increase the takeout on bets placed on out of state tracks by one percent; those are in sections 22-24. Again, it seems to me that this is little more than a variation of the surcharge on winnings on bets placed at OTB parlors; and that it will encourage bettors to seek other available wagering outlets (as well as to encourage those outlets to seek out aggrieved NY bettors). Mr. Liebman suggests that, based on 2006 figures, the takeout increase "would serve as a $21 million hit on NYS bettors since it would be a takeout increase on more than 80% of the bets made in NY." More information to follow..]


Anonymous said...

To answer a prior commenter, all NYC parlors are rented from private entities, some/most? at well above market rate.

The main offices and call center were in Times Square, after all very important no show jobs require Class A office buildings.

It would be very interesting to know who the landlords of these properties are, but, then again, maybe I am better off not knowing.

Anonymous said...

As for the 1%, it is purely a rip off with zero justification.

As we all know by now, NYC OTB was PROFITABLE for the city, the losses were fabricated by the mayor as a negotiating ploy.

His bluff was called, but the state decided to use this opportunity to screw the bettors.

In truth, the state did exactly what Bloomberg wanted, increase the takeout, but decided to take the money for themselves.

Anonymous said...

The real questions for the poor NYCOTB customers are 1) Does the surcharge continue? and 2) If so, will they continue to NOT charge the surcharge for account wagering?

El Angelo said...

I'm probably in the vast minority, but I don't have a huge problem with the surcharge. Unless you're over 85 or live in Staten Island, just go to the racetrack! Or open an account with NYRA.

Anonymous said...

I go to the track when I can, and will start using my NYRA account when they figure out how I can transfer in money without paying for the privilege.

But bottom line, it cost me round trip tolls, gas, admission, and twice as much for inferior drinks and food as I get at my local OTB restaurant, so I stay local most times.

The surcharge is a convenience charge, I guess.