Wednesday, November 30 ,2011 : Plans to extend ADW for another year
After a year of strong growth in Internet gaming, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board voted on Tuesday to extend online streaming of the state’s thoroughbred and harness races for another year, reports the Wall Street Journal.
According to the WSJ blog: "The online gambling boom comes after years of decline for New York’s horse-racing industry and indicates that horseplayers adapted to watching races online, a service that was approved by the board last December in response to the closure of Off-Track Betting storefronts in New York City."
The report reveals that in the first nine months of 2011, there was a 45 percent increase in the total number of online and phone accounts set up for action at the racetracks at Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga, five still-existing regional OTB entities and Yonkers Raceway.
The sites experienced a combined 49 percent increase in the total amount wagered on the phone and Internet.
The NYRA year-to-date figures show that the Internet handle is $79.6 million – up 195 percent from the $26.9 million that was wagered via the internet during the same period in 2010. The total NYRA Rewards handle — which includes telephone-account wagering and at-track betting via accounts — is $206 million this year, as opposed to the $107 million for the same period last year.
How much Internet streaming pumped up the numbers is unclear, but state officials said Tuesday it was enough to extend the Internet streaming for another year, allowing gamblers to watch races from their homes.
“We have unanimity once again on it,” said NYSRWB chairman John D. Sabini during the board’s meeting Tuesday. “It’s great for the fans because people can watch racing on computers and handheld devices without having to go through questionably legal means to do so.”