12/10/2010 6:18PM

Letters to the Editor, Dec. 12


New York betting should consolidate with its racing

In regard to the Dec. 11 article, "NYRA makes plans to address OTB shortfall," I believe that it would be in the best interests of all concerned if the New York Racing Association were to be permitted to set up betting kiosks all across New York State linked directly to the New York tracks.

That way there would be no other competing agency or agencies. The State of New York would get revenue from betting and the horsemen theirs as well. All other conflicting interests must be eliminated if racing is to remain viable in New York.

Jerry Pinault - Miami

OTB closing leaves television void

So the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp has closed up shop ("OTBs to close after bill fails," Dec. 9). Channel 71, the OTB channel on my local cable outlet is no longer broadcasting horse races -- not the signal from Aqueduct, or anywhere else for that matter.

So, here I am in Manhattan, a piece of real estate that some people like to think of as the center of the universe -- particularly the landlords who charge their rents accordingly (coincidentally, one of the reasons that the bookmaking operation called New York City OTB couldn't turn a profit) -- but I cannot watch horse racing on my television set.

I naturally called my cable provider to give them a piece of my mind and ask them why they're unprepared for this emergency in the lives of many of their paying customers. Couldn't they hook up with Capital OTB or Nassau OTB or Suffolk OTB just to get their signal?

With the demise of New York City OTB, there shouldn't be any jurisdictional problems, since it's impossible to step on the toes of a body that no longer exists.

Can't someone somehow light a fire under the appropriate entities (the New York Racing Association, perhaps) to speedily resolve this problem of folks living in the area covered by the former New York City OTB who can no longer enjoy watching racing on television?

What am I paying my cable bill for? The Cooking Channel? Fox News? "American Idol"? "The Apprentice"?

Richard Helfman - New York City