OTB Goes AWOL

80053983 OTB Goes AWOLNew York City’s Off-Track Betting Parlors are slated to close by midnight tonight after the New York state Senate failed to approve a bailout package this afternoon.

The vote fell three short of passage after Republicans held firm in opposition and not enough Democrats showed up at the chamber to vote.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader John Sampson placed blame on his Republican counterparts and noted that hundreds of jobs will be lost.

“There is a human cost to playing politics with New Yorkers’ livelihoods. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans once again put political interests over the people’s interests,” Sampson wrote. “It is deeply disturbing thousands of New Yorkers will lose their jobs because so few Senate Republicans had the courage to fulfill their duty as elected officials.”

The betting locations were initially expected to close at the end of business on Friday, but the company’s board of directors voted to keep the business operational until this afternoon’s final decision.

While the closure is set to put between 800 and 1,000 NYC-OTB employees out of work, over 35,000 people involved in the horse-racing industry are expected to be affected.

“From the tellers and clerks in New York City, to the breeders, farmers, and track workers Upstate and on Long Island, the closure of New York City OTB will have a devastating impact on communities across the state,” Sampson wrote.

“I had hoped today’s vote would be a break in the Albany logjam, but Senate Republicans rejected our call for bipartisanship just as they rejected those New Yorkers whose jobs are now lost.”

Competitors, like New York Racing Association and Catskills-OTB, have already released ads urging users to switch to their service.