Greg Rayburn's plan to reorganize NYC OTB by turning over its internet wagering business to the tracks and concentrating on the parlors seems counter-intuitive these days; like a record company ditching their MP3 business and focusing on CD's. But what do I know; I don't make $125,000 a month. Rayburn says that their labor costs are too high to make that business profitable. And, if he can't reach an agreement with the union by today, he'll look to rip up the corporation's labor contracts and make that segment of the business profitable his way. "It's doable in bankruptcy.....It's a tool that's available." Bankruptcy is a wonderful thing, isn't it?
NYRA, along with Yonkers, is willing to take a hit on money owed and statutory payments in exchange for the business, which not only would eliminate a key competitor and yield it a healthy customer base, but allow it to collect its full on-track share of the handle, some three times what it gets from OTB wagers now.
Of course, the final alternative is to liquidate and shutter the operation. And, unlike his predecessor, this guy is probably not kidding.
New York City OTB is under a hard deadline to get the plan worked out by Tuesday so that it can opt into a state early retirement incentive program. Unions, however, are objecting to key points, such as elimination of Sunday double-time pay, while demanding that a set number of jobs be kept regardless of handle and revenue.
Rayburn said he does not believe NYRA or the state’s five other off-track betting companies would be able to recoup all of the lost income, much of which could head out of state. [Thoroughbred Times]