08/21/2008 12:00AM

New York simulcast takeout raise postponed


The New York legislature passed a bill late on Wednesday that will delay by six months the implementation of a highly unpopular 1 percent increase in takeout on bets made by New York residents on simulcast races.

The increase was set to take effect on Sept. 15 as part of a bill passed in July that transferred the assets of New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation to the state. A budget bill passed on Wednesday by the legislature moved that date to March 15.

Officials of NYRA and some of the state's six off-track betting corporations had been asking legislators to remove the takeout increase over the past several weeks. The provision would have resulted in lower payouts to New York bettors compared to bettors in other states on all simulcast races from out-of-state.

The bill did not address a 1 percent increase in the takeout on all bets made on races conducted by NYRA at its three tracks, Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga. That hike is still slated to be implemented on Sept. 15.