Sports Outside the Beltway

Ruling say Yonkers Raceway owed millions of dollars

Will the New York harness racing track be ever able to collect the money? From

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board on Tuesday ordered four off-track betting corporations in the state to pay Yonkers Raceway several million dollars owed as part of legislation passed six years ago that guaranteed that harness tracks would not be financially impacted by the nighttime simulcasting of ThoroughbrYonkersed signals.

The ruling comes in addition to monies already owed to Yonkers. Earlier this month, New York City OTB filed for Chapter 9 federal bankruptcy protection, listed Yonkers as one of its two top creditors—along with the New York Racing Association—with $18 million owed. There is some question whether the New York City OTB will ever be able to pay the money.

The Board said that the New York City OTB owes Yonkers an additional $3.6 million, while Nassau OTB owes $1.8 million, Suffolk OTB owes $1.2 million, and Catskill OTB owes $940,000.

I wish the owners of Yonkers Raceway good luck in obtaining the money owed to them. They will need it. Raceways, racing associations, and off track establishments that are convenient for bettors, are having trouble surviving and this all started occurring before the recent economic downturn. Horse racing in the United States is dying. I don’t think anything can change the course the industry is on to extinction.

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