Final OK to Block Takeout Hike in NY

Increase had been part of NYCOTB deal.

Legislation has been given final approval in New York to block a looming 1% takeout increase on out-of-state pari-mutuel wagers. The legislation now heads to Gov. David Paterson for his consideration.

The across-the-board takeout hikes on Thoroughbred wagers made at OTBs and tracks in New York are to take effect March 15 if the governor does not sign the bill.

The increases were part of a negotiating deal last year to convince New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg not to shut down the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. by offering revenues – up to $5 million – from the higher takeout. In the end, the offer was never necessary since the state ended up taking over the NYCOTB last summer.

Still, the takeout increase provision was not struck from the final legislation, and now industry officials have been voicing concerns that it could set off a price war involving other states, let alone cause problems for existing simulcasting contracts.

The measure was first passed by the Assembly on March 2. The Senate approved the bill March 11.

If not signed by Paterson, takeouts on out-of-state bets will rise 1% across the board on all forms of bets starting March 15. The current takeout on out-of-state races wagered in New York include 18% for regular bets, 21% for multiple bets, 26% for exotic bets and 27% for super exotic bets.