In an apparent attempt to mitigate the fallout from the New York OTB’s shutdown, the State Racing and Wagering Board and the New York Racing Association took immediate action and pushed through an emergency rule change allowing customers to establish advance deposit wagering accounts over the Internet, for phone and on-line betting with NYRA, Nassau and Catskill OTBs, and Yonkers.
Prior to the rule change, one had to provide identification, in person or by mail or fax, to prove they were a New York resident. Additionally, the board also approved a NYRA Rewards promotion that doubles incentive points for new account holders. The impetus behind the emergency rule change was to protect the flow of online gaming loot from being scooped up by the welcoming pockets of offshore gambling sites.
The biggest creditor of the OTB is NYRA which is owed $27.5 million. NYRA was set to receive the lion’s share of OTB’s ADW wagering under the bankruptcy agreement. Phone and Internet betting accounted for only 20 percent of OTB’s handle, but the other 80 percent came from betting at the parlors and restaurants, which, now being closed, most of that money was likely to end up offshore in a nice foreign bank account. According to the NY Post, intrastate simulcast betting within New York was already down nearly 50 percent the day after OTB’s closure.