Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Businessweek Archives

Not Your Father's Otb Parlor


Up Front: SPORTS BIZ

NOT YOUR FATHER'S OTB PARLOR

GLITZ HAS COME TO THE gritty world of offtrack betting. In New Haven, a Vegas-like entertainment emporium has just opened, offering a shark tank, a discotheque, upscale bars, leather sofas--and oh, yes, wagering.

Autotote Enterprises, which owns and runs the Nutmeg State's OTB parlors, spent $9 million to buy and fix up the four-story building a la Caesar's. Called Sports Haven, it shows simulcast races from North American tracks--horses and greyhounds --on four massive overhead screens and hundreds of TVs. On Kentucky Derby day, May 6, it raked in $330,000, four times its downtown predecessor's take. New York and Illinois are trying a similar approach, although nothing on Sports Haven's scale.

The pitch is geared to younger customers, not the typical middle-age OTB crowd. Says Autotote President Rick Cowan: "It's vitally important if racing is to survive." Horse betting at the track is declining (down 5.5%, to $8.8 billion, in 1993) because of casino gambling's rise. Offtrack wagering, now in 11 states, rose 4% in '93, to $4.8 billion, only because more states are adding it. Oklahoma, for instance, just O.K.'d the idea. While OTB wagers are climbing in Connecticut, the amount bet has been falling in New York, the largest OTB state, since 1988. Doug Royalty EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT, WITH OLUWABUNMI SHABI


LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus