Charles Hayward, president of the New York Racing Association, sent word to NYRA officials March 26 that a dozen administrative positions at the racing group are being eliminated. He blamed the action on “the current economic climate” that has contributed to a drop in handle of about 10% over the past 18 months.
NYRA has been criticized in recent months by state officials, including Robert Megna, chairman of the state NYRA financial oversight board, for not trimming its budget more deeply.
Hayward told his board members that the layoffs annually will save about $1.4 million in salaries and benefits. He said among those being let go are John Ryan, the senior vice president and chief administrative officer of NYRA.
"This is a regrettable decision, but was necessitated by the current economic downturn of the racing industry and NYRA’s challenging current financial situation,'' Hayward said in a written statement. He declined further comment.