Officials warn Off-Track Betting could shut

ALBANY - (AP) - Officials are warning that the New York CityOff-Track Betting Corp. could be forced to shut down in Decemberunless state lawmakers approve a bailout of the operation.

City OTB board chair Larry Schwartz and president Greg Rayburnsaid Sunday that state lawmakers need to intervene to keep bettingparlors and horse racing tracks open.

A shutdown would reverberate throughout the state's horse racingindustry, threatening up to 70,000 jobs.

About 500 workers are expected to be laid-off Tuesday.

Schwartz said he wasn't trying to bully lawmakers. He said hewas stating a "financial and legal fact."

The state-owned New York City OTB is laboring to emerge frombankruptcy.

Lawmakers are being asked to consider a plan that includesconcessions from the business, its unions and creditors.

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