10/17/2011 4:37PM

NYRA's third-quarter betting revenue higher than in 2010


The New York Racing Association had higher gross and net wagering revenue during the third quarter of this year than it did last year, when New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation was still operating, according to figures provided on Monday by NYRA officials to members of a state oversight board.

Ellen McClain, NYRA's chief operating officer, said net wagering revenue was up 8 percent during the quarter, while gross wagering revenue was up 4 percent during the quarter. McClain credited increases in betting through the company's account-wagering operation and expanded simulcasting at NYRA's Aqueduct property for the jumps.

During the meeting, which lasted for nearly three hours on Monday, NYRA officials told members of the New York Racing Oversight Board that the increases were significant given the closure in December of New York City OTB, which handled approximately $800 million in the New York market in its final full year of operation.

Still, McClain said under questioning from board members that NYRA would need to petition the state for additional operating funds if a casino at Aqueduct does not open by the end of the year, an indication that NYRA continues to remain unprofitable without casino subsidies. The casino, to be operated by Resorts World, is scheduled to open on Oct. 28, according to the casino operator, making the question over NYRA's cash flow moot, McClain said.

The oversight board was set up in 2008 after NYRA reached a deal with the state to hand over the deeds to its three racetracks in exchange for the forgiveness of its debt. The board has the power to approve NYRA's contracts, and it plans to meet every two months to review aspects of NYRA's operations.