03/15/2005 1:00AM

Rise in NYRA takeout sought


The New York Racing Association will fight legislation that has been recently proposed in the New York Assembly to raise the takeout on the association's races, the chief executive of NYRA said Tuesday.

The Assembly, in its budget proposal released late last week, included a plan to raise the takeout on win, place, and show bets on NYRA's races from 14 percent to 15.5 percent. The plan also included a takeout increase on two-horse bets such as quinellas and exactas, from 17.5 percent to 19 percent.

"These are not takeout increases we've recommended or discussed with anyone," Charlie Hayward, NYRA's chief executive, said. "We do not believe that is a prudent way to do business, and these are not any adjustments that we would support."

NYRA has cut takeouts twice over the past five years in order to lower the cost of betting for horseplayers and increase the amount of money bet back into its pools. The takeout cuts have been opposed by New York's six politically powerful offtrack betting companies, which keep the difference between the takeout and statutorily required payments to governments and the racing industry. The companies are required to offer the signal from NYRA.

Budget proposals in New York are considered a blueprint for possible legislation. The New York Senate has not yet released its budget proposal.