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Friday, December 03, 2010

To OTB, Or Not OTB?

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.


jk said...

You hint at my big issue with NYRA rewards.

My business with NYRA rewards is worth 3X the value to NYRA vs. me going with CT. OTB, Mohegan Sun etc.

Meanwhile I get better rebates from CT. OTB etc vs. NYRA Rewards. Next time I go to the Big A I am going to phone in my bets to Ct. OTB and get my 1% rebate.

NYRA needs to open the vault to smaller players and give a 1% rebate with no minimum monthly handle required. Doing so would match this basic courtesy offered by its competition.

Anonymous said...

n.y. horseplayers are about to fond out what woodbine players discovered.
'SLOTS REVENUE IS #1 AND HORSEPLAYERS CAN GO", well you know the rest.

El Angelo said...

JK is 100% right. The idea that you have to bet $2000 a month--nearly $25,000 a year--to qualify for the bare minimum rewards is preposterous. What's wrong with encouraging people who bet something in the ballpark of $200 a month to keep coming back? If you gave them a 1% reward, it wouldn't be much ($25 a year) but at least shows some gratitude.

SaratogaSpa said...

closing delayed...what a suprise....not!

Figless said...

Again, I think the idiots in Albany are the ones blocking increased rewards.

NYRA fully understands the benefits, but Albany does not, anyone surprised?

Anonymous said...

I believe the real issue should be not with saving NYCOTB, but in evolving an online platform. Being a resident of New York State, specifically in any area to the west of Syracuse, you lose as a fan and supporter of NYRA contests!

Capital OTB customers are allowed to watch live streaming of NYRA races. However, if you reside in the western NY OTB jurisdiction, you are shut out! This is a farce! For instance, if you open a account or had a account, you are prohibited from watching anything from NYRA! With the old you could watch the paddock and post parade, but they blacked out the live viewing of any NYRA race.

Not exactly sure what is the case with, but TVG's channel, the one filled with mindless banter of analysts, doesn't allow you to watch much of a pre-race NYRA. You may get the post parade for a minute or so, but they devote so much time and energy to a product like Woodbine that NYRA loses out.

I give credit to NYRA for its weekend race coverage during Saratoga, but again, it's mostly a feeble attempt to win over new fans and maintain support for hardcore fans.

The fact the New York State Racing and Wagering Board bans ADWs from streaming live the product of NYRA, Finger Lakes and other New York racing products is beyond appalling.

The simple solution is to have the State Lottery absorb the OTB equivalent, allowing people to place bets on terminals and machines at every outlet where you can view Quick Draw. These outlets would also accept deposits and issue withdrawals for racing bets. You eliminate all the bloat that OTBs have. Expand the offering of video streaming to residents in state. The OTBs exist because of the additional surcharge levied, and that has done nothing to expand newfound interest in racing.

Anonymous said...

An additional note to my prior post in Anonymous for the online platform.....if you even have a NYRA Rewards account, you cannot watch live video streaming of NYRA races.