Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

04 December 2010

The Clear Solution To The OTB Drama

Why does the state continue on with the OTB charade? Not only are they losing money on this operation but they are blighting the sport they have a responsibility to promote. The state is taking an entirely wrong headed approach to off track wagering. These bureaucrats and race hustlers like Hazel Dukes have no business running wagering operations and have consistently placed a loser in the race. Instead of letting OTB die it should be turned over to private businessmen-- people who know how to run an operation. OTB could be a winner for both the industry and the customer. For too long the decrepit and poorly run OTB parlors have given horse racing in New York a reputation that is just a smidgen better than cock fights, brothels or crackhouses. The right operator could resurrect the reputation of horse racing while reintroducing class to the greatest game. There are more options than to close; the problem is not the product it is the operator. If the government does not have the people or ability to run a horse book it should be turned over to the people that have that ability. Certainly there are people out there that can turn this into a winner. Why aren't these options being discussed?

The state should issue franchises to private operators to run bet parlors like they do in the British isles. The unprofitable parlors should be closed and the profitable units could be optimized to maximize profits. New York is not middle America-the local men like horse racing and not TV college sports or tractor pulls. It may not be a fashionable market and it may not be the same market that has supported the 5,000 Starbucks that have opened up in New York over the last ten years but there still is a working class niche for OTB. For a talking class that likes to talk about diversity it seems like pari-mutual wagering does not fit into grand mosaic of Starbucks, Target, Whole Foods and Starbucks that New York has become.

My relatives could run a bet parlor and it all starts with some basic customer service. The right operator is kind enough to offer the patron a beverage and a lunch box along with your exacta box. OTB never could get this right. The right kind of OTB would offer patrons something like "powers cap's play of the day" to ensure they are winners and not part of the masses of loser cappers.

This is not the time to just close OTB, we can not leave all the dedicated handicappers of OTB out in the street. Yet this is what Albany is doing, it is like if their patronage mill can't succeed, there are no other options. Since the media does not discuss any other options no other options are discussed while the best option -private franchise ownership- is never discussed.

The patrons of OTB have lived with a 6% rake on winnings yet have persisted to make NYC OTB the largest bet taker in the United States -if that is not dedication I don't know what is- making them some of the most prized and dedicated customers in the world. We can not just leave these OTB patrons to find new hobbies. It is time to transition into a private owner-- one who will take care of the customer and grow the sport of racing. Let the local people run it; a great choice would be a local operator who knows how to do gambling right. The people from DRF or NYRA may be a good place to start. The wrong people have been running OTB and it shows. To just let the largest parimutuel operation in the country die would be a waste of a resource.


The_Knight_Sky said...

Power Cap wrote:

It is time to transition into a private owner one who will take care of the patron and grow the sport of racing.

But will this private owner send 10% of OTB revenues to the crooks, er I mean the school kids. ;-)

G. C. said...

You bet the kids can score with power cap betting parlors LLC. We have other charities that we would love to give to as well such as horse rescue or Catholic charities.

We can cut out the OTB bureaucratic middleman siphoning the kids money and injecting the game with a lethal dose of incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Since when has government ever been able to make a profit. Private ownership is key. I agree 100% with you. They opened up a OTB in Hampton Virginia without government funding, privately owned, and it is doing pretty good. In a town where almost noone knows of horse racing, that's pretty good. New York just can't seem to do much right. Bailing out an OTB that should be quite sustainable, kindof like the lottery, is a joke.

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