The State Senate is now planning to reconvene on Tuesday in order to conduct an up-or-down vote on the bill to reorganize NYC OTB that was approved by the Assembly. But OTB chairman Larry Schwartz says: "There's not [the needed] 32 votes in the Senate to pass the same bill that the Assembly passed, so the plan to close OTB [after Friday] remains." [NYDN] But you didn't really think they would go dark without some additional drama, did you?
Republican senators indicated that they might be amenable to a rescue.....if it includes relief for other OTB's around the state.
"The OTB system overall needs redesigning and rebuilding," said Senate GOP honcho Thomas Libous (R-Binghamton).Oh great, you're first realizing that now??
Any variation on the Assembly bill would require that chamber to return to Albany as well; which, Casey Seiler of the Times Union's Capitol Confidential says, seems about as likely as a visit from St. Nicholas (sorry to our younger readers, but this means “unlikely”).
Meanwhile, NYRA is preparing for the post-OTB age by preparing free bus service to the Big A from five would-be shuttered parlors around the city. Any OTB patron who transfers his business (not being sexist girls, have you been to an OTB parlor lately?) on track is like the equivalent of three new customers given the difference between NYRA's retention rate on his on-track bets from what it gets through OTB. So you might see Charlie Hayward and Hal Handel roaming the aisles of the buses with NYRA Rewards applications in hand. In fact, it might not be a bad idea to make signing up a condition for the free ride.