06/24/2003 11:00PM

New York takeout decision delayed


ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York State Racing and Wagering Board on Wednesday deferred action on a request from the New York Racing Association to reduce the takeout on some wagers, citing opposition from New York offtrack betting corporations.

The board instead asked the OTB companies and NYRA to produce estimates on how the takeout reduction would affect handle and revenue by Friday afternoon, according to Stacy Clifford, a spokeswoman for the board. The board hopes to take action on the proposal on Monday, one day before a deadline to implement the new takeout to conform with a new state law that allows NYRA to change its takeout once every fiscal quarter. The new quarter starts on July 1, when the takeout reduction would take effect.

"The board felt that they didn't have enough information from the parties on the impact of the reduction," Clifford said Wednesday. "If we can get this in the next 48 hours, then hopefully they can digest it over the weekend so we can make a decision in time for the reduction to take place."

The offtrack corporations, required to take NYRA's signal under state law, opposed the reduction because lower takeouts cut into their revenues. Offtrack wagering companies, like most simulcasting sites, retain the portion of the handle that is left over after the host site is paid its fee.

Under NYRA's proposal, takeout on win, place, and show wagers would be reduced from 14 percent to 13 percent. Takeout on two-horse wagers such as daily doubles, exactas, and quinellas would be reduced from 17.5 percent to 17 percent.

NYRA reduced the takeouts on the wagers in 2001 as well, a reduction that NYRA has credited with increasing handle. In that reduction, win, place, and show takeout was reduced from 15 percent to 14 percent, and takeout on two-horse wagers was reduced from 20 percent to 17.5 percent. Additionally, takeout on pick six wagers on non-carryover days was reduced from 25 percent to 20 percent.