Power Cap

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10 December 2010

NYCOTB Closing Is Great News




It would seem that NYRA is truly in crisis mode without the handle from NYCOTB. They are chartering buses to funnel OTB players to the Big-A, pressing to overturn laws that prohibit live video and predicting that there may be purse reductions. Even the head of failed NYCOTB went on record to say that " there’s a definite possibility that the Saratoga Race Track will close as a result of the shutdown of OTB". The numbers after one day do not agree with this dire assessment. Instead of true crisis this could be a case of crisis as a means to an ends. It was Hillary Clinton that said "never waste a good crisis". NYRA could be using this "crisis" to accomplish goals which have stagnated in the sea of Albany dysfunction for decades. Beneath all the doom and gloom there may be a light which will be the start of a new paradigm for NYRA. A novus ordum of New York racing that will benefit the long term health of the industry.

Last Thursday 02DEC10 Aqueduct handled a total of $5.6 million including $475,000 on track and $1.3 million at all OTBs within New York state. Attendance was 2101. This week on Thursday 09DEC10 Aqueduct handled a total of $5.2 million with $536,000 on track and $822,361 from in state OTBs. Attendance was 2,704. While handle did drop a total of $416,000 Aqueduct enjoyed increased on-track handle along with more bodies in the plant. Every dollar wagered on track must be worth at least three wagered at OTB. With OTB in bankruptcy there were no guarantees that NYRA would ever see these funds wagered at OTB. With more people at the track converting to NYRA one accounts-- NYRA is gaining market share over the local handle. The fact that on- track handle has increased from last weekis a positive sign and will help NYRA weather the storm of decreased total handle.

A big part of that $416K deficit is that OTB players are still in scrambling mode looking for a place to book their action. This $416,000 deficit will likely close as players find a new home and return to action. The deficit may not be a long term affliction. How could these OTB guys just give up the greatest game so easy? Some will land off-shore, some will land with bookies, others with NYRA one and even with national ADWs like expressbet. When this all settles most of the OTB players will transition into a new vendor; some may even find a new love for the game -or a small profit- without that onerous 6% tax on winning levied by OTB. Of course there are some players -the type that used local OTB as a social club- that will be transitioning into a new hobby. These people will focus their dollars on things like lotto, dominoes or local cockfights. Maybe a few will execrate vice from their lives which is what many of these souls need.


In the end I believe that the primary effect is a livened up Aqueduct. A game with vitality. As a whole horse racing in New York will be better positioned to jettison that hardcore degenerate reputation that effused from the corner OTB like the pervasive smell of smell of rotting rubbish on a sultry summer night. NYRA will gain control over local market share and eliminate a divisive competitor that stifled the simplest initiatives live streaming video. Maybe I can begin to tell people I follow, watch and wager on horse racing without the expected gamblers anonymous hazing. From a holistic point of view the loss of NYCOTB may be just the tonic the game needed here in New York- we should have on-line video soon and the political dog and pony show will be over as racing interests are consolidated.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

your comment that there is a 6% tax on otb is false...that's for the people who don't wager on the phone with otb or go to the otb's that don't charge a surcharge ...52nd st manhattan...38th st manhattan etc.....please get your facts correct..

Anonymous said...

nice try....as someone who owned and gambled at nyra i can only say they and otb deserve everything they're not getting.at nyra where i averaged a handle of at least$5,000 per day i was never offered a cup of coffee,racing form or any incentive to continue to attend. i would spend $100 a day in the dining room including tips to the matre'd,water boy waiter,cloak room as well as of course tipping those wonderful cheating tellers. just a wonderful experience which i ended 9 years ago. otb could be the answer if only they were run properly.don't delude yourself...nobody is coming back to the racetrack to spend 30 min. between races..food that stinks and the surroundings in ozone park or elmont don't compare to walking outside in manhattan..it's over..it's now a theater with no attendees.good luck it's not 1970..2000...the gane and the people have died ...it's really too bad ...i loved it in it's time....

Anonymous said...

I heard that aqueduct racetrack you can bet horses from another racetrack like church hill down, finger lakes, calder,etc, so u don't have to wait for 20 or 30 minutes to bet the home track or tracks

Anonymous said...

I had a NYCOTB betting account and I used OTBPay.com (866-LOAD-OTB) to fund it. I loved it!!!! I can't get to the track. I signed up with Capital OTB and I didn't miss a race because they have OTBPay as well. It was easy. You can also sign up with Suffolk OTB and Catskill OTB if you want.

Anonymous said...

what about watching the races..is that little fact unimportant...get the races televised and then we have a shot at salvaging this utter mess

Anonymous said...

If getting to Aqueduct wasn't so arduous I might go there. The OTB teletheater has no surchage and was 10 minutes away. They should bring back the subway special or I'll go to the Meadowlands and bet through Twin Spires.

G. Calabrese said...

If you have a checking account my suggestion would be to open a NYRA rewards account and link it to the checking account. NYRA has instant funding so you can play anytime you want -even in your underwear-bankroll is just a phone or computer away.

Anonymous said...

gee,what a great idea..open an account with nyra to bet on races i can't see....if it wasn't for the pea brains years ago nyra would have had the otb franchise..but they didn't think that was a good idea...by the way Xpress bet will give me $125.00 ...nyra? good luck mr.calabrese nyra deserves nothing....

G. Calabrese said...

NYRA is working on restoring video. From DRF

"Hayward said that he feels NYRA has made progress with New York City officials in its attempt to restore the signal to Channel 71, the channel formerly utilized by NYC OTB in the five boroughs.

“We’re hopeful to get it back on Wednesday,” Hayward said.

As far as the video-streaming of NYRA’s races on-line, that is something that is still being discussed.

Hayward said he sent a letter to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board proposing a 120-day pilot program, during which any regulated in-state advanced deposit wagering entity could video stream NYRA’s races.

“We’re hoping to resolve that one way or another next week,” Hayward said."

Anonymous said...

hayward said...................hayward said........................those braniacs at nyra can't get anything right...the best bet is that nyra will never get the races televised..they think people are going to return to the racetrack...wake up...it's over until there's new management..also good news with the raises they gave themselves..very appropriate timing!

Anonymous said...

by the way tomorrow is wed. ....do you know where the races televised are?

Anonymous said...

maybe now, buoyed by the reduction of sales for the drf,mr.smug aka steve crist,will raise the prices again...why not $10.00

Anonymous said...

jack dreyfus...where are u now that we need you....seeing what's happening he must be turning in his grave

Anonymous said...

it's now wednesday...still no racing from aqueduct on t.v. maybe nyra shoul hire rudy r or dutrow to do their magic to produce racing on t.v what a joke

G. Calabrese said...

Looks like the feed is back on cable TV.

The signal from Aqueduct was broadcast on a local cable channel in the New York City area on Wednesday, the first time the signal had been available on the channel since New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation shut down last Wednesday.

Officials of Aqueduct’s operator, the New York Racing Association, had been working with city officials since the shutdown to secure a deal that would restore the signal to Channel 71, which is available on cable systems throughout the city. Prior to shutting down, New York City OTB had paid the city $3.3 million annually to broadcast both the NYRA signal on Channel 71 and races from out-of-state tracks on Channel 73.

NYRA officials would not comment on the restoration Wednesday, according to Dan Silver, a spokesman for the association. City officials did not immediately return phone calls.

Under current regulations, NYRA is unable to live-stream its races over its website without the approval of other OTBs, so the restoration gives New York City residents their only way to view the races live without going to the track, an ability that is considered critical to account-wagering customers.

On Wednesday, NYRA’s chief executive, Charlie Hayward, said on a radio show that the association remains in discussions with the state’s five regional off-track betting corporations on an agreement that would allow live streaming on its account-wagering platform.

Anonymous said...

You can register with any other NYS OTB like Capital OTB, Suffolk OTB, Catskill OTB, Nassau OTB, or Western OTB. Your OTBPay EFT account will transfer over to the other OTB's instantly. Call 866-LOAD-OTB or visit www.LOADOTB.com.

Anonymous said...

New York City OTB was nothing more than a political patronage corporation under the auspices of the New York City than eventually the State of New York. Only a government run gambling operation could go bankrupt because it was never created to generat a profit; it was created to give employment to political hacks and political club hangers-on.