03/12/2009 12:00AM

N.Y. bill to hold takeout passes


The New York senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would repeal a takeout hike on wagers placed on out-of-state races beginning Sunday.

Although New York Gov. David Paterson has not conclusively indicated that he will sign the bill before Sunday, New York Racing Association officials said on Thursday that they believed Paterson will endorse the legislation in the next several days based on conversations with his staff.

"It's our belief that no significant opposition exists to this bill," said NYRA's chief operating officer Hal Handel.

The 1 percent across-the-board takeout increase was approved last year as part of a larger bill enabling the state to take over New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation. Such an increase would result in smaller payoffs to New York bettors on out-of-state races compared with bettors in other states. In addition, the increase would have complicated NYRA's existing contracts with simulcasting sites.

Morgan Hook, a spokesman for Gov. Paterson, said Thursday that Paterson had received the bill early that afternoon, but Hook would not comment on whether the governor would sign it by Sunday.