Hold Your Horses! Off-Track Betting Pulls the Plug After 40 Years At The Races

Time to cash out, boys: After decades of loose gambling on fast horse races, the Off-Track Betting Corporation announced that all New York City operations would cease. The industry had been suffering from slow profits, and the failure of a support bill in the State Senate rung the death knell for the symbol of Old New York. Today will witness the closings of 50 betting parlors across the city.

“I guess it’s never all over, but it’s pretty close to it,” OTB board member Steven Newman told The New York Times. “It’s a sad day.”

Racing aficionados can still blow their cash and hit the big time at parlors elsewhere in New York state, but with 45 percent of total funds coming from the city, the shuttering is a major blow to OTB.

Naturally, old people are mad.

“It’s terrible,” said John Grassley, 77, a retired postal worker who said he had been an OTB bettor since it began. “I thought they would solve it at the last minute. They ought to privatize it, or turn it over to the Gambinos. Government can’t run anything.”

The Gambinos! Come on, retired postal worker John Grassley, 77. OTB needs profits and we all know crime doesn’t pay.

nfreeman [at] observer.com | @nfreeman1234