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Old 10-16-2020, 09:53 AM   #1
westernmassbob
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Has covid fast tracked the final nail in OTBís coffin?

Attendance at most if not all OTBís has been dwindling for the past 10-15 years. More people betting online, old people dying off and Iím sure the increase of casinos coming in has a lot to do with it. Now with covid people are scarce at the OTB. Connecticut has several ď stand alone ď OTBís which is probably more then any state out there. My question is other then at live racing venues can anyone foresee the extinction of off track betting parlors?
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Old 10-16-2020, 12:39 PM   #2
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Jury's out. I really don't know that you can make that call yet. I can get everything I need to get done as a handicapper right at my computer, but I have, for a long time now, missed the banter of a visit to the OTB. I'll say this, the demise of the OTBs would not be a positive for the industry, IMO.
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Old 10-16-2020, 02:28 PM   #3
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I think there's still a role for some OTBs or OTB/restaurants because some people enjoy hanging out and socializing with other horse players somewhere where all the races are being simulcast. But if anything, Covid has caused more people to open ADW accounts and accelerated the decline.
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Old 10-16-2020, 03:04 PM   #4
Onesome
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The standalone OTB is dead and rightfully so.

The technology is in place to have terminals in place at restaurants, bars and arenas just like the William Hill's are currently doing in the US.
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:20 PM   #5
aaron
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On Long Island,Nassau County has basically closed down. As of now,I think you can go to two otb's. In Suffolk County there are also a couple open. When I passed by one, there were maybe 3 or 4 people there with masks on. There are also no fans at Belmont,so in NY it is studio racing from home. A lot of us miss the live contact with others, but those days seem to be overt least for a while.
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Old 10-16-2020, 07:57 PM   #6
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Back in March before everything closed in California I walked into our OTB at the Fairgrounds and looked around at a full house of GEEZERS. My first thought was if the Pandemic is real , well this will finish the OTB. I believe it's still closed.
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Old 10-16-2020, 11:21 PM   #7
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The pandemic pretty much forced me to show my father who is 71, how to wager online.
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Old 10-17-2020, 03:53 PM   #8
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You can bet and watch the races on your phone or computer so theres no reason to be physically near a place to bet on a race anymore. The pandemic also closed the tracks to the public for a long time and basically forced anyone who wanted to bet on the ponies to utilize those resources to keep their interest.

Last edited by horsefan2019; 10-17-2020 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 10-17-2020, 05:49 PM   #9
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You can bet and watch the races on your phone or computer so theres no reason to be physically near a place to bet on a race anymore. The pandemic also closed the tracks to the public for a long time and basically forced anyone who wanted to bet on the ponies to utilize those resources to keep their interest.
Thats accurate for about half of the states. Its hard to believe after online betting going for 15 years that racing has not even maximized its own asset online.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:43 PM   #10
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The standalone OTB is dead and rightfully so.

The technology is in place to have terminals in place at restaurants, bars and arenas just like the William Hill's are currently doing in the US.
I donít know about ďrightfully soĒ because the point others made about the social aspect does appeal to some people. But you are absolutely right. Even before Rona the simulcast was encouraging you to bet at home. Saratoga Bets gives you the kiss and if you wager harness horses itís even better. After a while they rarely had the bar open at night. This is before the Corona. Have a phone, laptop or computer...... open account, we donít care if we see you again.
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:34 AM   #11
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You can bet and watch the races on your phone or computer so theres no reason to be physically near a place to bet on a race anymore. The pandemic also closed the tracks to the public for a long time and basically forced anyone who wanted to bet on the ponies to utilize those resources to keep their interest.
Nothing better than going to the track. I attended Monmouth this year and it was wonderful. There is still reasons to go to the track.

Itís like football, itís good on television but nothing beats being there in person.

Allan
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:02 AM   #12
alhattab
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Nothing better than going to the track. I attended Monmouth this year and it was wonderful. There is still reasons to go to the track.

Itís like football, itís good on television but nothing beats being there in person.

Allan
I agree Monmouth was a lot of fun this year, and the Fall meet has been a great bonus. I see the "OTB" going more the way of an establishment like the William Hill room there. Focus on Sports + Racing, nice room/bar, decent food. Even on busy sports weekends they find a corner devoted to racing both in the room and on the huge TV in the grandstand.
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:29 AM   #13
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The OTB is going the way of Blockbuster.

It is no longer necessary.
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:56 AM   #14
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I agree Monmouth was a lot of fun this year, and the Fall meet has been a great bonus. I see the "OTB" going more the way of an establishment like the William Hill room there. Focus on Sports + Racing, nice room/bar, decent food. Even on busy sports weekends they find a corner devoted to racing both in the room and on the huge TV in the grandstand.
That's not exactly a new invention. Parx had that setup on its second floor 20 years ago, way before the casino. Only difference was you couldn't legally wager on the games on site (granted big difference financially for the track but the layout was the same).
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Old Today, 04:48 PM   #15
Tom
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Are we sure that COVID didn't originate in some OTB bathroom?
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