Five New York bookie businesses got multi-million federal loans that were meant to help small businesses during the pandemic. Thus, critics are complaining about the decision. The Western Regional OTB, Nassau County OTB, and Suffolk County OTB got $2.5 million each from the federal Small Business Administration.
Also, the Capital District Regional OTB got $1.2 million. The Catskill Regional OTB got from $350,000 to $1 million in loans. Although the SBA provides Paycheck Protection Program loans to private businesses, government units are unqualified for them.
The state legislature created the OTBs in 1970 as public-benefit corporations. The local governments operate them via political appointees. Also, their revenue goes back to local and state governments. Thus, they are not private entities.
New York Bookie Businesses Get PPP Loans
Some bookie pay per head providers are questioning how government entities qualified for the PPP loans. Local governments appointed chairs and CEOs of the OTBs. For instance, the county legislature selected the head of the NY OTBs. Also, OTB employees get New York State pensions.
US Representative Carolyn Maloney said that loans were for small businesses. Thus, she wants the SBA to answer why it gave the loans to the OTBs. Maloney is the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
Maloney said that loans were for private businesses and not government ones. Last month, she accused the SBA of stonewalling when asked how they are managing the coronavirus financial-relief initiatives.
A provider of gambling software in Asia learned that supporters of the OTB loans said that OTBs are assets to communities. Local governments earn revenue from them. Keeping them afloat during the pandemic would keep people working. Thus, saving taxpayers’ money.
However, the SBA declined to comment on the issue. It is impossible to be a bookie legally in New York unless you are a casino or an OTB operator.