Updated on 09/15/2011 12:24PM

OTB's seek trade-off in N.Y.


NEW YORK - New York offtrack betting companies are lobbying to be allowed to take additional simulcasts during the winter as a trade-off for their support of legislation that would lower the takeout for horseplayers in New York.

The legislation, which was recently introduced at the urging of the New York Racing Association, would allow NYRA and New York's OTB's to reduce the takeout on win, place, and show bets from 15 percent to 14 percent; lower the takeout on exactas, quinellas, and daily doubles from 20 percent to 17.5 percent; and on non-carryover pick six bets from 25 percent to 20 percent. The reductions would take effect on July 25, the day that NYRA's Saratoga Race Course opens.

The legislation would also allow NYRA and the OTB's to take an additional signal during the Saratoga meet, which NYRA officials identified tentatively as Monmouth Park on Thursday.

The state's six OTB companies have been reluctant to support the legislation because they fear losing revenue from the reduced takeouts. Jim Ryan, the chief lobbyist for the OTB's, said Thursday that the companies would lose $6 million a year under the reduced takeout structure.

Ryan said that the OTB's could make up the difference with a more liberal simulcasting schedule. Under state law, OTB's can only import a limited lineup of signals each day.

"We're trying to get on the same page, and we need some additional wagering opportunities to do it," Ryan said. "We need some signals during the slim periods in the winter."