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:
firstname.lastname@example.orgObviously, 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.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.
"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]