January 26, 2010

Comptroller Maragos Requests Nassau OTB’s Financial Data

Once known as a “Cash Cow,” Nassau OTB will lose money in 2009

Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos is conducting a comprehensive review of the Nassau Off-Track Betting’s finances to determine the reasons for the decline in revenue to the County over the last several years. There is also further risk to the County for loss of all future revenues because of a proposed New York State bill to merge the Nassau OTB with the New York City OTB.

The County surtax and profit revenues from the Nassau OTB declined each year, from $14 million in 2004 to $5.1 million in 2009. This is a 64% decline over 5 years.

"While the downturn in the economy has affected almost all of Nassau’s businesses, the current financial condition of the Nassau OTB directly affects the County’s budget and year-end results,” Comptroller Maragos said. “I want to review their books and see if there is anything we can do to reverse their bad luck. It is interesting that while the operating revenues of the Nassau OTB declined in the last 5 years by 64%, their Administrative Expenses increased by over 50% during the same time period. This type of management performance is not going unnoticed. We must protect the County taxpayers.”

Comptroller Maragos has reached out to New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and requested he use his authority to conduct an independent full review of the Nassau OTB.

The Comptroller also stated that the County should fight any attempts to merge the Nassau OTB with the failed New York City OTB.