02/15/2012 4:07PM

NYRA looking to install betting machines in 40 restaurants


The New York Racing Association will seek to install parimutuel machines in as many as 40 restaurants in the five boroughs of New York City over the next three years, officials of the association told an oversight board during a meeting on Tuesday.

The plan, which would likely need approval from the legislature and the city of New York, was developed to provide convenient betting locations in New York City following the bankruptcy and dissolution of New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation late in 2010. In documents provided to the Franchise Oversight Board, NYRA estimated that the 40 restaurant locations could generate approximately $165 million in handle a year.

NYRA said in the documents that it would seek to partner with 10 restaurants in the first year of the strategy, expanding to 25 restaurants in the second year, and 40 in the third. The restaurant locations would each have five self-service parimutuel machines plus staff to provide vouchers and cash winning tickets, NYRA said.

The 40 locations could generate $10.5 million in cash for NYRA, the documents said. Restaurant or bars that install the machines would receive 1.6 percent to 1.7 percent of the handle at the location as a fee.

NYRA is one of several entities in New York that have expressed interest in opening OTB locations in New York City over the past year. Several of the state’s other county-owned OTB corporations have also approached legislators about entering the New York City market.

A NYRA spokesman, Dan Silver, said that oversight board members expressed “positive comments” about the plan during the Tuesday meeting.

“NYRA will be discussing the plan with the administration [of Gov. Andrew Cuomo] and the legislature in Albany with the hope of gaining their support to implement this strategy in the very near future,” Silver said.