"Offtrack Betting: There’s a New Game in Town; First Offtrack Bet System in U.S. Opens Here Thursday” was the title of a story in the New York (NY) Times on April 4, 1971. The first OTB opened at Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal.
OTB’s slogan that opening week was: “Nothing Brightens the Rat Race Like a Horse Race.”
Wikipedia: Off-track betting
Off-track betting (or OTB; in British English, off-course betting) refers to sanctioned gambling on horse racing outside a race track.
Before the 1970s, only the state of Nevada allowed for off-track betting It became allowed in New York City in 1970, after years of unsuccessful attempts by the city to legalize it. Their success was such that by the 1970s there were a hundred betting parlors in New York City, and twice that number by the late 1980s. In New York City, the thought was that legal off-track betting would increase revenue while at the same time decrease illegal gambling activity, but one effect of the legalization was the decrease of revenue at the race tracks. The 1978 Interstate Horseracing Act struck a compromise between the interests of horse tracks and owners, the state, and OTB parlors, and stipulated that OTB revenues were to be distributed among the tracks, the horse owners, and the state. Another stipulation was that no OTB parlor was allowed to operate within 60 miles of a track.[
In December 2010, the NYC OTB closed due to lack of profitability.
4 April 1971, New York (NY) Times, “Offtrack Betting: There’s a New Game in Town; First Offtrack Bet System in U.S. Opens Here Thursday” by Steve Cady, Sports, pg. S1:
As an OTB advertisement later this week will proclaim: “Nothing Brightens the Rat Race Like a Horse Race.”
How a Train Station Transformed America
By Sam Roberts
New York, NY: Grand Central Publishing
In 1971, hundreds of people queued up for two hours or more to place their wagers as the nation’s first off-track betting parlor opened at Grand Central (commuters were already used to a long wait; appropriate to the place, one advertisement proclaimed: “Nothing Brightens the Rat Race Like a Horse Race”).
The first NYC OTB’s slogan was “Nothing brightens the rat race like a horse race.” Because of course it was.
6:35 AM - 6 Jan 13