2010-10-29 / Top Stories

Bloomberg Decries OTB Deal

Mayor Michael Bloomberg reacted to a deal cut last week between Governor David Paterson and the Off Track Betting (OTB) Corporation to keep the corporation in business by arguing that the deal would cost New York City money it does not have.

“Last week, Governor Paterson announced a plan to put City taxpayers on the hook for more than $100 million – and potentially up to $200 million – in retiree health care costs in order to keep the Off Track Betting Corporation in business,” the mayor said. “The plan requires legislative and legal approvals and we are going to fight, using all available options, to ensure it does not become a reality.”

Bloomberg added, “For years we have said OTB was a losing bet, because only in government can you run a bookie operation and actually lose money every year. It’s simply not something the City should be paying to subsidize. Two years ago, we wanted to get the City completely out of the OTB business, but the State wanted to keep it afloat. We had a clear agreement that the State could take over the operation, as long as the State assumed all assets and liabilities of OTB. The State is pitching this proposal as good for New Yorkers, when it’s really just breaking a deal and leaving City taxpayers holding the bag, potentially to the tune of $200 million.”

“Enough is enough,” he concluded. “We’ve worked hard to keep the City’s fiscal house in order and we cannot be saddled with another massive unfunded mandate or forced to pay for another reckless decision made in Albany.”

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