Schenectady County

OTB still tallying derby losses

Capital Region Off Track Betting is still estimating exactly how much revenue it lost when betting m
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Capital Region Off Track Betting is still estimating exactly how much revenue it lost when betting machines went down Saturday for more than 60 minutes, an hour before post time for the Kentucky Derby.

“We haven’t done it yet. We are still going through the accounting phase of it,” OTB President John Signor said Monday.

Signor said Capital OTB’s handle for this year’s Kentucky Derby was about $2.6 million, higher than initially estimated but less than the $3 million to $3.1 million usually wagered on Kentucky Derby Day.

That confirms the early estimates of a roughly $400,000 decline in handle, according to early estimates, said Signor.

Saturday’s outage was met by dismay by many local horse racing bettors, who were unable to wager on the sport’s biggest event.

About 10 percent of the money bet through OTB is retained by it as revenue. It then shares the revenue with the counties that comprise its service area.

The problem Saturday was with the organization’s tote company, United Tote, which experienced a system malfunction.

Capital Region OTB contracts with United Tote to process bets and transmit them to tracks. As part of the contract, when there is a failure or breakdown of the system, United Tote is required to make up for lost revenues.

Signor said the president of United Tote called and took full responsibility for the problem, identified it, corrected it and will go forward from there.

“I said the counties must be held harmless and an incident like this cannot happen again or we will look for another tote company,” said Signor.

The company has taken full responsibility for the wagering downtime, said Signor and with respect to the counties and city of Schenectady, it will make good on whatever revenues were lost due to the problem. These figures are still being determined.

Counties, which get a portion of OTB revenues based on the county population, will be held harmless either way, said Signor.

The Kentucky Derby is the largest wagering day of the year throughout the region.

“We apologize for any inconvenience,” said Signor. “Unfortunately, this was an occurrence beyond the control of anyone at Capital OTB. This incident is entirely the responsibility of United Tote.”

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