Nassau County Off-Track Betting Corporation couldn’t catch a break after being granted the right to offer slots in 2013 in an effort to bolster revenues and keep the business alive. Protesters and community groups stood in their way at every turn; from Belmont Park to the hither shores of Long Island. One of their opponents was Genting, owners of Resorts World Casino New York City at Aqueduct racetrack. This week the Daily Racing Form announced that a deal had been struck to place 1,000 Nassau OTB slot machines at the Jamaica casino and race track.
The surprise deal was approved Friday by the New York House and Senate as part of the state’s budget, giving the highly successful casino a total of 6,400 machines – the 1,000 new video lottery terminals could come into play soon after the bill is signed into law.
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) and their horsemen could see fatter purses and improved conditions, but it’s still not clear how much if any of the profits will go to them. Although Genting is required by law to contribute part of their casino proceeds to the NYRA, the OTB is under no such obligation with one caveat. Under the 2013 law authorizing Nassau and Suffolk OTB’s to run slots they only have to contribute to the NYRA if revenues at Resorts World were to decline, negatively affecting the horsemen’s association.
The deal seems to be structured in a such a way that Genting will manage the machines separately from their own and divvy up $9 million to the OTB for the first two years and $25 million a year after that. The $25 million figure is to be indexed to inflation according to the report.
Suffolk County OTB was also given the right to offer 1,000 machines in the 2013 legislation, but after meeting resistance to their proposed casino in Medford at every turn, they are now are looking at alternatives such as placing the lottery units at the Marriott Hotel in Islandia.