The struggling Off-Track Betting Corporation was given a stay of execution yesterday by the city, which granted them an extra week to try to avoid shutting down altogether. The OTB has been in serious financial troubles, having filed for bankruptcy last year and having laid off 1,300 workers already. They were expected to be forced to shut down completely by this Sunday without intervention from the State Assembly.

The emergency move by the agency's board today gives it a little time to try to work out a new plan, perhaps involving betting kiosks in bars. One other plan would reduce OTB's statutory payments to New York City Racing Association (NYRA) by 15%, but comes with its own problems: "Saving the parasite while killing the host is not a sensible strategy. Unless there is a mechanism for making up for lost VLT (video lottery terminal) revenue NYRA was supposed to receive, a 15 percent ‘haircut’ would basically put NYRA out of business by the time of the Belmont Stakes,"said Barry Ostrager, New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. president and a NYRA board member.