The Sparsely Attended Death Throes of N.Y. Off-Track Betting

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The state’s Off-Track Betting business has been a colossal money-losing political cesspool for at least a decade. So why should OTB’s death be any less of a fiasco? Among the perversely appropriate lowlights in the current last-minute attempt to salvage New York’s horse-wagering operation is the fact that three Democratic state senators didn't even bother to show up for today’s special legislative session in Albany: One — Pedro Espada Jr. — out of pique that he’s losing his seat after being accused of stealing $14 million; one — Kevin Parker — because he was in Brooklyn being convicted on two counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief for beating up a photographer; and one — ;Malcolm Smith — because he’s in China looking at trains. Maybe Governor Paterson is bluffing, again, and OTB will somehow get another reprieve. But don’t bet on it.

Update: The State Senate has voted against saving OTB, so you degenerate gamblers out there have about eight hours to run to your local parlor one last time.

[Capital Confidential/Albany Times-Union]