Off-track betting in New York

In the U.S. state of New York, off-track betting on horse racing is offered by five regional, government-owned corporations. As of 2014, the five operators had a total of 89 betting parlors and 5 tele-theaters around the state.[1] They accepted a total of $558 million of bets in 2016.[2]

Map of the counties and cities that participate in each of the regional OTB corporations
1. Capital OTB
2. Western OTB
3. Catskill OTB
4. Nassau OTB
5. Suffolk OTB


Off-track betting is offered by five regional corporations. A sixth OTB corporation, serving New York City, closed down in 2010. Each corporation is a public benefit corporation, run by a board of directors who are appointed by the governments of the participating counties and cities.[1] In addition to New York City, thirteen other counties (Allegany, Delaware, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, Onondaga, Ontario, Otsego, Saratoga, Schoharie, Tompkins, Westchester, and Yates) do not have any OTB parlors.

Each of the OTB corporations accepts wagers at a number of full-service branch locations, at self-service terminals located in restaurants and bars, and by telephone and Internet.[1][3]

Out of each wager placed through OTB, approximately 77 percent goes into the parimutuel pools for distribution to winning bettors. The remaining amount, known as the "takeout", is retained by the OTB operator. In addition, a surcharge of 5 or 6 percent is deducted from most payouts to winning OTB bettors.[4] From these revenues, payments are made to the state, participating counties and cities, racetracks, and funds to support the racing industry. After the OTB's operating expenses are paid, any remaining profits are disbursed to the state and the participating counties and cities.


The New York State Legislature enacted its first off-track betting law in 1970, creating the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation and allowing other municipalities to establish their own OTB operations.[5] The law was meant to curb illegal bookmakers and provide a revenue source for state and local governments.[6] NYC OTB began taking bets in 1971.[7] The City of Schenectady followed in 1972 with its own OTB operation.[8] The current system of regional OTB corporations was enacted in 1973.[9]

OTB parlors began showing live video feeds of races (referred to as simulcasting) in 1984.[10][11]


An OTB parlor in Ditmars, Queens, as seen in June 2010

The New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation covered the five boroughs of New York City. At its peak in the mid-1980s, it had over 150 betting parlors.[12] City mayor Rudy Giuliani attempted to privatize the corporation, and in 2001 the bid was won by Magna Entertainment and Greenwood Racing over a partnership between NYRA and Churchill Downs Incorporated.[13] However, the state legislature never approved the deal, and his successor Michael Bloomberg cancelled the process.[14] The corporation filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in 2009, by which time it had only 66 parlors.[15] On December 7, 2010, the New York City OTB permanently closed all of its parlors as part of its liquidation.[16]

Regional OTBsEdit

Capital OTBEdit

Capital District Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation covers sixteen counties and the cities of Albany and Schenectady.[17] It has 33 branch locations, including its flagship Clubhouse Race Book in Albany.[18][19]

Catskill OTBEdit

Catskill Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation covers ten counties in the Catskills and Southern Tier regions.[20] It has nineteen branch offices.[21]

Nassau OTBEdit

Race Palace in Plainview, New York, the former site of the Galaxie Hotel.

Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation, also known as Nassau Downs, covers Nassau County.[22] It has six branch locations, including Race Palace, its flagship teletheater in Plainview.[23][24] A 2013 law authorizes the corporation to run a casino with up to 1,000 slot machines; instead of opening a casino in Nassau County, that right was licensed to Aqueduct Racetrack to enable an expansion of its Resorts World casino.[25]

Suffolk OTBEdit

Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation covers Suffolk County.[26] It operates four branch locations, including its flagship Racing Forum teletheater in Hauppauge.[27][28] The corporation has been under Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection since 2012.[29] It is authorized to run a casino with up to 1,000 slot machines; that right is licensed to Jake's 58 Hotel and Casino in Islandia, which was opened by Delaware North in 2017.[29] Suffolk OTB purchased the casino from Delaware North for about $120 million in 2021.[30]

Western OTBEdit

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation covers fifteen counties in Western New York and the cities of Buffalo and Rochester.[31] It has nineteen branch offices, and also owns and operates Batavia Downs racetrack and casino.[32][33]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Financial Condition of New York State Regional Off-Track-Betting Corporations (PDF) (Report). New York State Comptroller. September 2015. p. 5. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  2. ^ 2016 Track & OTB: Race Dates, Attendance, Handle (Report). New York State Gaming Commission. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  3. ^ The Optimal Utilization of the State's Regional Off-Track Betting System to Raise Revenues for State and Local Governments and Strengthen The Racing and Breeding Industries in New York (PDF) (Report). Task Force on the Future of Off-Track Betting In New York State. January 13, 2010. p. 29. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  4. ^ Bennett Liebman (April 2, 2010). "New York City OTB: Is the Model Broken?". Albany Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series: 3. SSRN 1582650.
  5. ^ Finger Lakes Racing Assn. v. New York State Off-Track Pari-Mutuel Betting Comm., 30 N.Y.2d 207, 215-216 (1972).
  6. ^ Are Off-Track Betting Corporations Nearing the Finish Line? (PDF) (Report). New York State Comptroller. September 2015. p. 2. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  7. ^ Vincent Butler (April 9, 1971). "They're off and betting fast in New York betting parlors". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  8. ^ "Schenectady OTB has great hopes". The Journal News. White Plains, NY. August 27, 1972. Retrieved 2017-04-01.  – via (subscription required)
  9. ^ Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. v Town of Henrietta, 78 Misc.2d 169, 170 (1974).
  10. ^ Mark Cusano (August 30, 1984). "Simulcasting begins; Opens locally today". The Post-Star. Glens Falls, NY – via
  11. ^ New York State's $2 Billion Trifecta: NYRA, VLTs & OTB (Report). Maryland Tax Education Foundation. February 2006. p. 3.
  12. ^ Ryan Goldberg (February 7, 2013). "New York OTB: Remembering a city icon". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  13. ^ NYC accepts Magna's bid for OTB - Matt Hegarty, ESPN, 2 August 2001
  14. ^ New York City OTB Gets New Boss - Bloodhorse, 21 February 2002
  15. ^ A.G. Sulzberger (December 3, 2009). "Bleeding cash and deep in debt, OTB files for bankruptcy protection". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  16. ^ Russ Buettner (December 8, 2010). "New York betting parlors close doors". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  17. ^ Capital Off-Track Betting Corporation (PDF) (Report). New York State Comptroller. September 2015. p. 2. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  18. ^ "Branch Hours" (PDF). Capital OTB. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  19. ^ "About Capital District Off-Track Betting" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  20. ^ Catskill Off-Track Betting Corporation (PDF) (Report). New York State Comptroller. September 2015. p. 2. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  21. ^ "Addresses". Catskill OTB. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  22. ^ Nassau Off-Track Betting Corporation (PDF) (Report). New York State Comptroller. September 2015. p. 2. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  23. ^ "Branches". Nassau OTB. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  24. ^ Josh Benson (May 16, 2004). "From Plainview, you can see Belmont". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  25. ^ Tom Precious (January 27, 2017). "Strife building over New York VLT proceeds". The Blood-Horse. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  26. ^ Suffolk Off-Track Betting Corporation (PDF) (Report). New York State Comptroller. September 2015. p. 2. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  27. ^ "Locations". Suffolk OTB. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  28. ^ "About Us". QwikBetz. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  29. ^ a b Spencer Rumsey (March 30, 2017). "Lawsuit could still drive a stake through Jake's 58 gambling casino". Long Island Press. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  30. ^ O'Connor, Devin (April 14, 2021). "Delaware North Selling Jake's 58 Casino on Long Island for $120M". Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  31. ^ Western Off-Track Betting Corporation (PDF) (Report). New York State Comptroller. September 2015. p. 2. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  32. ^ "Locations by County". Western OTB. 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  33. ^ "Contact Us". Batavia Downs. Retrieved 2017-03-11.