OTB president pleads for VLTs

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GOSHEN – For almost a year, ever since the pandemic struck and Governor Cuomo put the economy on pause, off-track betting parlors have been closed. They remain shuttered resulting in the Catskill Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation slowly withering away.

Its long-time president, Donald Groth, met with the Orange County Legislature’s Economic Development and Gaming Committee virtually on Tuesday, noting their only product is horseracing, putting them at a disadvantage with other gambling opportunities.

“The only thing that is going to help us is new product, more product, VLTs is what has helped everybody else. We should be entitled to that help, and the governor hasn’t seen it that way so far,” he told the committee.

OTB has contributed thousands to participating counties for years, but that has dried up since COVID-19 struck.

Groth said he wanted his agency to run an electronic gaming casino at the Newburgh Mall, now where Resorts World is planning to develop one.

Those VLTs and sports betting would place OTB on a level playing field, keep it solvent and restore its annual contributions to participating counties, he said.