12/06/2012 5:30PM

New York OTB bill sent to Gov. Cuomo


A bill that would grant Catskill Off-Track Betting Corporation the legal right to operate OTB parlors in New York City’s five boroughs was sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday, but it is unlikely that the bill will receive his endorsement, according to racing officials.

A spokesperson for Cuomo, Rich Azzopardi, said on Thursday that the bill was “under review.” Azzopardi would not directly comment on Cuomo’s opinion on the bill.

The bill was passed this summer, largely at the behest of legislators whose constituents include the heads of unions whose members lost their jobs when New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation shut down late in 2010. Catskill OTB is headquartered in upstate New York.

Cuomo has 10 days to sign, veto, or ignore the bill. When the bill was passed, it was noted that the state legislature had not consulted Cuomo administration officials prior to approving the legislation. Controversial legislation typically requires a pre-existing agreement between the three bodies to get ultimate approval.

Also, since the bill was passed, the state, under a plan pushed by Cuomo, has taken control of the board of the New York Racing Association, which is eager to open OTBs in New York as a complement to its three Thoroughbred tracks. Meanwhile, the city itself has been wary of opening the five boroughs up to another OTB operation without changes to state law.