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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Our Chance

New York's Task Force on the Future of Off Track Betting, created last year when the state took over NYCOTB, held its first meeting last month. It's already two months late with its mandate to issue a final report on its recommendations on how to reform the long-broken status quo of six regional OTB's which compete with each other and with NYRA. However, we know how these things go around here. At least the panel, at its meeting on May 14, immediately called on the OTB's to refrain from entering into long-term contracts or deals in anticipation, we hope, of a long-awaited consolidation in one form or another.

Whatsmore, the panel also promised to solicit opinions from all industry stakeholders....and that includes us horseplayers, the lifeblood of the industry. And today, the Task Force issued a press release which included an email address for us to tell them what we think about OTB, and what we think a restructured system should look like (and/or, if you'd like, what you think about this).

“As anyone who has gone to the track knows, horseplayers are not a group of people who are shy about expressing ideas and opinions,” said Tom Casaregola , a member of the panel who also serves as the director of audits and investigations for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. “Our hope is that horse players, casual fans, and industry participants alike will write to us with their feedback on issues with their OTB’s, their comments about their experiences at off track betting parlors and their ideas on things they would like to see happen.”
Oh yeah, I think I might have a few comments and suggestions, how about you? So, here it is:
nysotbtaskforce@gmail.com
Obviously, the thoughtful emails will be taken more seriously than the ones that read: OTB SUCKS!, so please be respectful.

- Bad timing for those in Nassau County who want to watch the Belmont undercard (and yes, I fully agree with the readers who suggest that we move on those more interesting betting races).
“NYRA’s racing signal is valuable and proprietary and we cannot allow it to be pirated by our competitors in the industry,” said NYRA President Charles Hayward. [Thoroughbred Times]
Well, therein lies the whole problem with OTB in the state - the mere fact that it's a competitor to, rather than a cooperator with the racing provider. NYRA claimed that it hadn't received a satisfactory explanation for Nassau OTB having streamed its signal - as you know NYRA is, incredibly, still not itself permitted to stream its own signal on its own websites. And, reading OTB's response, I'd say that they still haven't received one.
Nassau Regional OTB, in its statement, said streaming video on its Internet betting platform is provided by Scientific Games Racing.

"Contrary to NROTB’s clear written directives to SciGames to not to stream NYRA races on the site, when SciGames switched streaming video providers in early 2009, the NYRA stream was disseminated erroneously. Upon notification that such dissemination was occurring, NROTB corrected the problem immediately. [Bloodhorse]
The classic "we didn't know" excuse doesn't quite cut it here considering that it went on for more than two months on its very own website, according to NYRA. Pretty weak.

26 Comments:

SaratogaSpa said...

Maybe Nassau OTB should have consulted with Capital OTB, who committed the same offense, give the same "mea culpa" that Capital did, and than keep the signal that Capital OTB was allowed to keep

Anonymous said...

hard to believe that the NYRA and the OTB's are still the preferred "bookmakers" in NY. The entire parimutual betting system in NY is a failed franchise. Perhaps better days to come?

Anonymous said...

hard to believe that the NYRA and the OTB's are still the preferred "bookmakers" in NY. The entire parimutual betting system in NY is a failed franchise. Perhaps better days to come?

Anonymous said...

For people in Nassau the undercard will be on ESPN starting at noon. I guess they'll miss the first which is at 11:35.

cheers, chris

Anonymous said...

I've heard from an industry associate that the first real substantive meeting of the OTB Task Force is scheduled on or about June 22nd. There is about 20years of notes on this topic if they choose to use old historical data!

The "bookie joints" and the state racing industry must be allied for this thing to work. No rocket science required.

jk said...

Good luck trying to cut all of the patronage jobs at the regional OTB's.

There are board members and senior execs at all of the regionals with strong political ties.

I can not see all of these folks getting swept out.

We are paying an extra 1% of takeout to keep them in!

jk said...

One more comment:

The task force should hold the next meeting in the
45th and 3rd OTB branch.

Unless they are all blind, it will not be hard to figure out what needs to be done.

Glimmerglass said...

"Pirated signal" - makes it sound like its some renegade AM radio station out of some kids basement in Queens.

So I buy the national edition of the NYTs today (Fri) - yea imagine that buying a physical paper! - thinking they'll have some pre coverage of the Belmont Stakes. I mean the Wall Street Journal did as well as McPaper - USA Today.

However alas no. The Gray Lady and Joe Drape see to it that the only horse article is about NYRA not following up on the 20 horse deaths so far in NY with necropsies. Nothing like beating up on the sport again and again.

Perhaps a necropsy was necessary for City On Line? I mean aliens or drugs could've fractured his leg instead of the marble statue he slammed into while getting loose, right?

The WSJ article on the bush league riding is an interesting one.

alan said...

Glimmer - Couldn't agree more about the Drape article and your point regarding incidents like City On Line. Is there a link to the wsj article?

Anonymous said...

Persuing the PP's for the Brooklyn today and was surprised to see a bunch of front running types, unlike the Belmont. Should be interesting to see if one of the closers can rally through the soup in a driving rainstorm.

Why would Darly run only one of these, not like there are tons of alternate spots for marathon runners? Once you name a jock on both is it a rule that you run only one, even in a Stake? I ask because Albertrani is hedging in his recents quotes.

In any case, what a debacle today's card should be. I guess cancelling might even be warranted if the storm intensifies as predicted.

Anonymous said...

I actually appreciated the Drape article. What NYRA's Charlie Hayward and Alex Waldrop from the NTRA should be focused on is what it costs our industry everytime a horse breaks down and people start scratching their heads wondering what may have caused thisZ: an overused pain killing drug, a genetic defect, a preexisting condition, an overraced horse, an inferior racing surface or just a bad step. If a $500 necropsy helps uncover the answers and leads to prevention of more horse deaths, then Hayward and Waldrop's organizations should be funding this small amount of money to prevent the exodous of folks passionate about the well being of the horse, that seemingly seldom get data based explanations as to what may have gone wrong. Joe Drape is forcing our industry's hand. I like that.

alan said...

I don't believe that the article presents a case as to why a necropsy is necessary as a routine matter of course in the event of fatalities. As pointed out, it seems totally extraneous in the case of an incident such as City On Line. Worse yet, on the day before the biggest race of the New York racing season, the Times did not devote a single word to the race. What is the reason for the timing of the article? Why couldn't it be reserved for another day? Is there really a story here at all? How can the Times ignore the Belmont on the day before the race? I'm not saying that the article doesn't make some valid points. But its timing just reeks of the ongoing agenda of Drape and the paper to ignore the positive and accentuate the negative.

Glimmerglass said...

Alan as requested

WSJ June 5 "Where Calvin Learned to Ride"

The WSJ also said on their Sports page, under the weekly feature of "This Weekend on TV: All Eyes on Belmont".

To be clear on the NYT's/ Joe Drape article I don't object to informative articles but really on the eve of the Belmont that is the only racing article the paper sees fit to print? Nothing about the undercard or today's Brooklyn Stakes? Just more doom and gloom because fans of this rough sport need to be reminded they support "this", right.

Anonymous said...

allright, I concede to the point that the NYTimes should have taken time to promote the Belmont Stakes as well. Good observation. Drape keeps hitting us where we are vulnerable, and I don't mind this if it makes us better, Belmont weekeend or not.

steve in nc said...

The Times also ran an article on problems with flagrant foul calls on the eve of the NBA finals. The logic behind it is obvious. That's when people are paying attention. Presumably there will be articles tomorrow about racing aspects of the Belmont. But will non-players read them?

Do articles about racecars mean anything to non-NASCAR fans? I only read them after Dale Earnhardt died, when the emphasis was on new safety gizmos. NASCAR had its neck brace moment and now horse racing is having a necroscopy interlude.

Even if they're only of minor value, they cost less than many vets' syringe shipments and some states do require them. I commend Drape for continuing to look into whether the NTRA safety certification criteria is meaningful or whether much more is needed.

I'm just a player and don't know enough to judge the program. But the industry's PR happy talk only makes me suspicious. And it creates a vacuum allowing outside critics with wildly varying agendas to set the public debate. Not a wise PR course.

It would be much better for racing if Waldrop would get on a soapbox and start trumpeting the obvious: that racing's image won't improve until drug rules are tightened and stiffly enforced; and that racing has no shot at solving this and other core problems without a national governing body with teeth: a kind of 'league office' which, by imposing needed reforms on tracks and horsemen, can earn the respect of the public and cooperation from legislators.

Racing's warlords can decide to create such a body and cede power to it, or, continue to gamble that Congress will always have more important fish to fry.

Anonymous said...

how much did OTB pay to settle this case?
how much did OTB pay to defend this case?
what documents lurk beneath the "Protective Order"
It is common sense for an appointee to submit their undated letter of resignation on their first day of work should the time come for...


US District Court Civil Docket
U.S. District - New York Eastern
(Central Islip)
2:07cv1472
Butler v. Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation et al
This case was retrieved from the court on Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Date Filed: 04/09/2007
Assigned To: Senior-Judge Denis R Hurley
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Arlene R Lindsay
Nature of suit: Other Civil Rights (440)
Cause: Civil Rights Act
Lead Docket: None
Other Docket: None
Jurisdiction: Federal Question

Class Code:
Closed: No
Statute: 42:1983
Jury Demand: Plaintiff
Demand Amount: $0
NOS Description: Other Civil Rights
Litigants Attorneys
Teresa Butler
Plaintiff Louis D Stober , Jr
[COR LD NTC]
Law Offices of Louis D Stober, Jr, LLC
350 Old Country Road, Suite 205
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
516-742-6546
Email: LSTOBER@STOBERLAW.COM

Alyssa F Bomze
[COR LD NTC]
Law Office of Louis D Stober Jr LLC
350 Old Country Road
Suite 205
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
516-742-6546
Fax: 516-742-8603
Email: ABOMZE@STOBERLAW.COM

Sheila S Hatami
[COR LD NTC]
Law Offices of Louis D Stober, Jr LLC
350 Old Country Road
Suite 205
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
516-742-6546
Fax: 516-742-8603
Email: SHATAMI@STOBERLAW.COM

Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation
Defendant Ana Shields
[COR LD NTC]
Jackson Lewis LLP
58 South Service Road
Suite 410
Melville , NY 11747
USA
631-247-0404
Fax: 631-247-0417
Email: Shieldsa@jacksonlewis.com

Jennifer Beth Courtian
[COR LD NTC]
Jackson Lewis, LLP
59 Maiden Lane
New York , NY 10038-4502
USA
212-545-4022
Fax: 212-972-3213
Email: Courtiaj@jacksonlewis.com

Board of Directors of Nassau Regeional Off-Track Betting Corporation
Defendant Daniel S Moretti
[COR LD NTC]
Landman Corsi Ballaine & Ford PC
120 Broadway
27TH Floor
New York , NY 10271-0079
USA
(212) 238-4800
Fax: (212) 238-4848
Email: Dmoretti@lcbf.com

Melissa Shari Katz
[COR LD NTC]
Landman Corsi Ballaine & Ford PC
120 Broadway
27TH Floor
New York , NY 10271
USA
212-238-4800
Email: MKATZ@LCBF.COM

Sophia Ree
[COR LD NTC]
Landman Corsi Ballaine & Ford PC
120 Broadway 27TH Floor
New York , NY 10271-0079
USA
212-238-4800
Fax: 212-238-4848
Email: Sree@lcbf.com

Nassau County Democratic Committee
Defendant Steven R Schlesinger
[COR LD NTC]
Jaspan, Schlesinger & Hoffman, LLP
300 Garden City Plaza, 5TH Floor
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
(516)746-8000
Fax: (516)393-8282
Email: SSCHLESINGER@JSHLLP.COM

Seth Presser
[COR LD NTC]
Jaspan Schlesinger LLP
300 Garden City Plaza, 5TH Floor
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
516-746-8000
Fax: 516-393-8282
Email: SPRESSER@JASPANLLP.COM

Jay Jacobs Individually And as Chairman of The Nassau Democratic Committe
Defendant Steven R Schlesinger
[COR LD NTC]
Jaspan, Schlesinger & Hoffman, LLP
300 Garden City Plaza, 5TH Floor
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
(516)746-8000
Fax: (516)393-8282
Email: SSCHLESINGER@JSHLLP.COM

Seth Presser
[COR LD NTC]
Jaspan Schlesinger LLP
300 Garden City Plaza, 5TH Floor
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
516-746-8000
Fax: 516-393-8282
Email: SPRESSER@JASPANLLP.COM

Type +Description
Documents


Items 1 to 79 of 79
Availability

No.

Date

Proceeding Text
Online 1 04/09/2007 COMPLAINT Rec #22642 against Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation, Board of Trustees of Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation, Nassau County Democratic Committee, Jay Jacobs $ 350, filed by Teresa Butler. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet) (Serret, Liliana) (Entered: 04/11/2007)
Runner -- 04/09/2007

Anonymous said...

how much was Teresa Butler paid by OTB?
What is "protected" by the "Protective Order"?
If OTB had asked for a letter of resignation signed but undated on her first day of work could this case have been avoided?
how much money did Nassau OTB spend defending this case which has generated many docket entries?
what questions are raised in your mind by this case?

US District Court Civil Docket
U.S. District - New York Eastern
(Central Islip)
2:07cv1472
Butler v. Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation et al
This case was retrieved from the court on Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Date Filed: 04/09/2007
Assigned To: Senior-Judge Denis R Hurley
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Arlene R Lindsay
Nature of suit: Other Civil Rights (440)
Cause: Civil Rights Act
Lead Docket: None
Other Docket: None
Jurisdiction: Federal Question

Class Code:
Closed: No
Statute: 42:1983
Jury Demand: Plaintiff
Demand Amount: $0
NOS Description: Other Civil Rights
Litigants Attorneys
Teresa Butler
Plaintiff Louis D Stober , Jr
[COR LD NTC]
Law Offices of Louis D Stober, Jr, LLC
350 Old Country Road, Suite 205
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
516-742-6546
Email: LSTOBER@STOBERLAW.COM

Alyssa F Bomze
[COR LD NTC]
Law Office of Louis D Stober Jr LLC
350 Old Country Road
Suite 205
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
516-742-6546
Fax: 516-742-8603
Email: ABOMZE@STOBERLAW.COM

Sheila S Hatami
[COR LD NTC]
Law Offices of Louis D Stober, Jr LLC
350 Old Country Road
Suite 205
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
516-742-6546
Fax: 516-742-8603
Email: SHATAMI@STOBERLAW.COM

Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation
Defendant Ana Shields
[COR LD NTC]
Jackson Lewis LLP
58 South Service Road
Suite 410
Melville , NY 11747
USA
631-247-0404
Fax: 631-247-0417
Email: Shieldsa@jacksonlewis.com

Jennifer Beth Courtian
[COR LD NTC]
Jackson Lewis, LLP
59 Maiden Lane
New York , NY 10038-4502
USA
212-545-4022
Fax: 212-972-3213
Email: Courtiaj@jacksonlewis.com

Board of Directors of Nassau Regeional Off-Track Betting Corporation
Defendant Daniel S Moretti
[COR LD NTC]
Landman Corsi Ballaine & Ford PC
120 Broadway
27TH Floor
New York , NY 10271-0079
USA
(212) 238-4800
Fax: (212) 238-4848
Email: Dmoretti@lcbf.com

Melissa Shari Katz
[COR LD NTC]
Landman Corsi Ballaine & Ford PC
120 Broadway
27TH Floor
New York , NY 10271
USA
212-238-4800
Email: MKATZ@LCBF.COM

Sophia Ree
[COR LD NTC]
Landman Corsi Ballaine & Ford PC
120 Broadway 27TH Floor
New York , NY 10271-0079
USA
212-238-4800
Fax: 212-238-4848
Email: Sree@lcbf.com

Nassau County Democratic Committee
Defendant Steven R Schlesinger
[COR LD NTC]
Jaspan, Schlesinger & Hoffman, LLP
300 Garden City Plaza, 5TH Floor
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
(516)746-8000
Fax: (516)393-8282
Email: SSCHLESINGER@JSHLLP.COM

Seth Presser
[COR LD NTC]
Jaspan Schlesinger LLP
300 Garden City Plaza, 5TH Floor
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
516-746-8000
Fax: 516-393-8282
Email: SPRESSER@JASPANLLP.COM

Jay Jacobs Individually And as Chairman of The Nassau Democratic Committe
Defendant Steven R Schlesinger
[COR LD NTC]
Jaspan, Schlesinger & Hoffman, LLP
300 Garden City Plaza, 5TH Floor
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
(516)746-8000
Fax: (516)393-8282
Email: SSCHLESINGER@JSHLLP.COM

Seth Presser
[COR LD NTC]
Jaspan Schlesinger LLP
300 Garden City Plaza, 5TH Floor
Garden City , NY 11530
USA
516-746-8000
Fax: 516-393-8282
Email: SPRESSER@JASPANLLP.COM

Anonymous said...

I need a lawyer to sue to have NY PML Sec. 105 declared unconstitutional and/or inapplicable to the OTBs. The Racing and Wagering Board has relied on this law to prevent the OTBs from opening on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. NY City OTB opened on said days upon the advice of Counsel and was fined in 2003 but never went to court to have the law declared unconstitutional. The law has no legitimate secular purpose and expresses a clear religious preference in violation of NY Const. ARt. 1, Sec. 3. NY State has no Constitutional immunity for State Constitutional Torts.
However, the Justice of the State Supreme Court could duck the issue and simply decide that indeed the law does not apply to the OTBs.
Does anyone want help get rid of this law?

Anonymous said...

NY needs to amend its Constitution to allow betting on the Super Bowl, NCAA, World Cup etc.
NY needs to join the Leniak Lawsuit below.

I believe that candidates running or office on a platform of the above would do quite well. The amount of money bet on these events is large and well established.

Relatively honest gambling is a better source of revenue than funny money paper Wall Street gunk a less pristine form of gambling.

The US has already been beaten in an internet gambling case by Mark Mendel Esq., from Texas, Antigua et al v US before the WTO World Trade Organization

New Jersey Senate Democrats :: Van Drew Welcomes Corzine To Sports ...
Contact: Jason Butkowski (609) 292-5215 ... support to legal efforts, led by Senator Ray Lesniak and myself, to overturn the federal ban on sports betting. ...
www.njsendems.com/release.asp?rid=2820 - Cached - Similar

Anonymous said...

# The opinion of Nassau County Republican Legislator Peter Schmitt regarding the Teresa Butler case.

When Republicans and Democrats are in equilibrium, the public suffers?


Nassau County Legislature
Peter J. Schmitt (516) 571-6212. Committees: Budget Review - Ranking. Rules - Ranking ... Peter J. Schmitt, a Republican, was elected to the first Nassau County ...
www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/legis/LD/12/index.html - Cached
May 21, 2007

Schmitt Calls for Investigation into OTB

Minority leader Peter J. Schmitt is calling on the Legislature to hold hearings to investigate the firing of an OTB employee for refusing to work on political campaigns for Democrats while on the job.

Reportedly, an employee of OTB was asked to do campaign work for Tom Suozzi’s gubernatorial campaign, Craig Johnson’s senate campaign, and others during working hours at OTB. Upon refusal, the employee was fired. The employee is now suing to get the job back.

“If these allegations are true, then there is serious criminal conduct going on at OTB. The taxpayers in Nassau County should not be paying salaries for people to work on the Democrats’ campaigns for state political positions,” said Legislator Schmitt.

News of the OTB firing comes on the tail of the recent publicity over the number of cars that the county leases for OTB workers. “I think it’s time that we find out what is going on at OTB. We need an investigation to determine why revenues have been decreasing, yet personal perks have been increasing. OTB is under the direct control of the Nassau County Legislature, not the Nassau County Democratic Committee,” said Schmitt. Since the Nassau County Legislature appoints the OTB board members, Schmitt has sent a letter to Government Services Committee Chairwoman Diane Yatauro calling upon her committee to hold a hearing “with the same dispatch as she attempted to go after the Republican County Clerk.”

Anonymous said...

# what do the OTBs stand to gain by exposing themselves to a lawsuits in which their liability has already been established and possible attorney's fees, the expense of litigation, interest on the judgment etc? Defendant OTBs include Nassau, Suffolk and NYC OTB


Raceway sues OTB outlets for $6 million in back fees - recordonline.com ...
MONTICELLO — Monticello Gaming & Raceway has filed a lawsuit against three Off ... By Adam Bosch. Times Herald-Record. Posted: April 10, 2009 - 6:00 AM ...
recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090410/NEWS/.../-1/NEWS - Cached

Anonymous said...

who will be in court watching for this for us?
if discovery takes place someone should apply to the Court to ORDER ALL discovery to be filed with the Court for us all to read and post on the web.
Since OTB is subject to the Freedom of Information Law it would be fun to request the billing records and copies of checks etc in this epic legal struggle?

WebCivil Supreme - Case Detail

Court: Nassau Civil Supreme
Index Number: 011310/2009
Case Name: NASSAU REGIONAL OFF-TRACK vs. NEW YORK RACING ASSOCIATION
Case Type: Commercial Division
Track: Complex
RJI Filed: 06/11/2009
Date NOI Due:
NOI Filed:
Disposition Deadline:
Disposition Date:
Calendar Number:
Jury Status:
Justice Name: STEPHEN A. BUCARIA

Attorney/Firm For Plaintiff:
BLANK, ROME, TENZER, GREENBLAT Attorney Type: Attorney Of Record Atty. Status: Active
405 LEXINGTON AVENUE
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10174
212 885-5000

Attorney/Firm For Defendant:
BEE READY FISHBEIN ETAL Attorney Type: Attorney Of Record Atty. Status: Active
170 OLD COUNTRY RD #200
MINEOLA, NY 11501
516-746-5599

Anonymous said...

If only....
Of course Easter Sunday should have been included too, but the State lost over $250,000 by the Six OTBs not being open on Palm Sunday.

New York State Assembly Logo
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Summary - S02718
Back | New York State Bill Search | Assembly Home
See Text

S02718 Summary:

BILL NO S02718

SAME AS No same as

SPONSOR ADAMS

COSPNSR

MLTSPNSR

Amd S105, RWB L

Permits racing or licensing race meetings on Palm Sunday.

S02718 Actions:

BILL NO S02718

02/27/2009 REFERRED TO RACING, GAMING AND WAGERING
03/10/2009 REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
04/07/2009 1ST REPORT CAL.162
04/20/2009 2ND REPORT CAL.
04/21/2009 ADVANCED TO THIRD READING

S02718 Votes:

S02718 Memo:

Anonymous said...

and the buyer is?
ask the IRS?
mail to a friend | Print version | ShareThis | RSS Feeds

By PAUL POST, The Saratogian

SARATOGA SPRINGS — New York Racing Association has raised $8 million by selling property near Aqueduct Race Track that will be used to pay a $9 million Internal Revenue Service judgment.

Sixty-four vacant, residentially zoned parcels — between the track and Beltway Parkway — were available in the June 10 auction and 48 were contracted for sale.

NYRA still needs to come up with another $1 million to settle its case with the IRS.

“We can make that up by selling the remaining 16 properties or taking it out of our general fund,” spokesman Dan Silver said.

Most property was sold in groups of several lots each, while some landlocked parcels sold individually.

“There was a big disparity in the prices,” said Richard Maltz, of the firm David R. Maltz & Co., which conducted the auction. “It really depended on the amount of interest in the lot. We had 150 people in attendance. It represented a unique opportunity for the type of property it was. It’s rare to find 325,000 acres of vacant land in a heavily-populated area.”

One of the largest, most desirable assemblages of parcels went for $690,000.

Both Maltz and NYRA declined to identify buyers in the recent auction. For developers, the site represents an opportunity to build homes close to Aqueduct’s proposed video gaming center. Six firms are competing for the contract to run the track’s racino with 4,500 video lottery terminals. The selection may be announced this summer, but the process has been plagued by numerous delays. Most recently, the state Senate has been paralyzed by a more than week-long power struggle, complete with court battles, to determine who controls the upper house.

The struggle has brought state government to a standstill as Republicans and Democrats wage war. Meanwhile, the state continues to lose $1 million per day for as long as the racino isn’t built.

In October 2007, the IRS said NYRA owed it $1.6-billion in back taxes and penalties. Among other things, the IRS said NYRA should have reported gross handle rather than takeout, NYRA’s portion of the handle, as income on its tax returns. This resulted in $65.3-million worth of understated income, according to the IRS.

NYRA countered that it owed about 1 percent of the amount sought by the IRS. NYRA was then in bankruptcy and also argued that such a huge IRS penalty would make it impossible to satisfy creditors. The judgment was later reduced to $9 million.

Last fall, when NYRA was awarded a new 25-year franchise, the state assumed ownership of all NYRA land, with the exception of the vacant Aqueduct properties. NYRA was allowed to retain these to settle its IRS judgment.

Anonymous said...

Betting and Racing in NY on Easter, Christmas and Palm Sunday?
NY PML Sec. 105 is unconstitutional.
any lawyers looking for action write me.

The Saratogian (saratogian.com), Serving the Saratoga Springs, N.Y. region

News
Off Track Betting to push for Palm Sunday opening

Friday, January 23, 2009

By PAUL POST, The Saratogian

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Off Track Betting officials say the plan to push for legislation that would allow them to stay open on Palm Sunday.

State Racing Law prohibits live racing on Christmas, Easter and Palm Sunday. By extension, the state Racing and Wagering Board has ruled that OTBs may not conduct business, either.

But OTB leaders say they’re losing several million dollars worth of wagering, a portion of which goes back to the cash-strapped state and county governments.

"It’s going to be part of our legislative agenda this year," Capital Region OTB President John Signor said. "In my view it’s a no-brainer. It’s very competitive out there. By not allowing it you’re driving bettors to out-of-state wagering sites."

Non-New York thoroughbred tracks such as Gulfstream, Santa Anita, Turf Paradise and Hawthorne conduct Palm Sunday racing along with The Meadowlands in New Jersey where harness racing is held. New York bettors should be allowed to wager on those races at OTBs or at New York racetrack simulcast venues, Signor said.

In 2003, New York City Off Track Betting challenged the law and stayed open on Palm Sunday, generating about $1.5 million in handle. However, the Racing and Wagering Board said the entity didn’t obtain approval to alter its plan of operation and imposed a $5,000 fine.

The next year, New York City OTB formally asked for approval to change its plan of operation and was denied.

"We have not tested it since then," President Raymond Casey said. "If you have a specific directive from a regulator you need to obey that."

But with the state facing a projected $15 billion budget deficit, others say it’s time to revisit the matter. "I’ve been an advocate for more than 30 years to have betting on Palm Sunday," Catskill Regional OTB President Donald Groth said. "It would be one small step to increase business."

The Racing and Wagering Board’s makeup has undergone major changes since 2003 including a new chairman, John Sabini, who took office last August. Spokesman Joseph Mahoney said that no one has brought the matter before the board this year.

"There’s been no recent legal analysis about this," he said. "We’re not bound by previous decisions. If the issue was raised, we would conduct a review and decide based upon the relevant information."

The Palm Sunday debate is one more example of the way state leaders are turning to gambling as a way to solve New York’s fiscal woes. In December, Gov. David Paterson proposed putting video lottery terminals at Belmont Park in addition to Aqueduct, where Buffalo-based Delaware North Companies is scheduled to operate a 4,500-machine racino.

In addition to VLTs, the Lottery Division has talked with the governor about expanding gaming to include electronic table games such as poker, blackjack and 21 that are very similar to traditional forms of casino gambling.

Several years ago, Senator Bill Larkin, R-New Windsor, introduced legislation (S-1199) that would have overturned the Palm Sunday provision. However, it got bottled up and died in committee in 2005.

"It kept getting more and more opposition from people who don’t like gambling," spokesman Steve Casscles said.

The current financial crisis could change that, however.

Jackson Leeds is a part-time cashier for Nassau Regional Off Track Betting on Long Island. As a taxpayer advocate, he says it’s incumbent on the state to allow OTBs to stay open on Palm Sunday.

"Nobody has any money," he said. "The state should be glad to allow it. It’s the universal common denominator —cash."

URL: http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2009/01/23/news/doc49792c71efcfd313925503.prt

© 2009 saratogian.com, a Journal Register Property

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