After laying off 1,300 workers and wracking gamblers' nerves, the Off-Track Betting Corp. may actually get the state bailout they were hoping for. The OTB has said they would have to shut down by Sunday without a lifeline from the State Assembly, and the Assembly is working on a plan to help them out. According to the Daily News, state lawmakers are developing a plan that would thin out OTB management and cut the OTB's payments to the state's racing industry by about 10%. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow said, "We have to do something before the middle of next week, otherwise OTB goes out of business totally."
The plan would be a temporary bailout for the year while OTB officials come up with a more permanent solution to their financial troubles. That solution may call for betting kiosks in restaurants and bars, which the Assembly's plan does not include. However, sweeping reforms will be needed. "What's there now I don't trust to undertake the reforms that are needed," said Pretlow. "I think we need to do a housecleaning from the top to the bottom there." Despite all the work, the new deal may not be in place before the layoffs go into effect on Sunday. OTB Chairman Sandy Frucher said, "There's been some constructive dialogue, and I'm hopeful we'll be able to work something out."