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Continued Live Video Streaming Of Yonkers Races OK'd

Pact created in wake of NYC OTB's closure was about to expire; betting accounts up since races could be seen on Internet.

The state Racing and Wagering Board has approved the continuation of online video streaming of thoroughbred and harness racing in New York for 2012, clearing the way for Yonkers Raceway to continue live streaming video as well as the archived race replays.

The action extends an deal reached in 2010 by the Racing and Wagering Board after New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation's closure.

"When New York City OTB shut down last year, the future of New York's world-class horse racing product was uncertain," said Racing and Wagering Board Chairman John Sabini. "This agreement will help the tracks and OTBs make up for the lost revenue, increase convenience for the betting public, and introduce new fans to the sport. This is another sign that the industry is moving in the right direction and willing to work together to ensure the continued viability of racing in New York."

The original agreement was set to expire Dec. 22. The deal allows online streaming for New York races, giving the betting public an opportunity to view live racing on the Internet.

“We’ve been very pleased with the reaction to our live streaming video, as well as our archived race replays, “said Robert Galterio, vice president of Yonkers Raceway.  “Our fans enjoy the service, and we appreciate the support of the Racing and Wagering Board in allowing us to continue presenting the sport’s best racing product to the largest audience possible.”

The extension of the deal comes after an examination of data from The New York Racing Association, Yonkers Raceway and the five regional OTBs for the first nine months of 2011 shows the entities experienced a combined 49 percent increase in account wagering and a 45 percent increase in the total number of accounts over 2010.

"While it is impossible to determine exactly how much of the increased account wagering handle is attributable to video streaming, it is evident that the agreement has had a positive impact in the wake of New York City OTB's closure,” Sabini said. “Most importantly, video streaming is good for the fans of racing and the overall sport."

Included in the agreement are The New York Racing Association Inc., Capital District Regional OTB, Catskill Regional OTB, Nassau Regional OTB, Suffolk Regional OTB, Western Regional OTB and the operators of Batavia Downs, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Buffalo Raceway, Finger Lakes Racetrack, Monticello Raceway, Saratoga Gaming and Raceway and Yonkers Raceway.

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