A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 11, 2005
Off-Track Betting (OTB) & “Go, Baby, Go!”
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, New York had a lot of problems. "The Big Apple" campaign was started to improve its image, but that can do only so much. You need money!

Mayor John Lindsay supported off-track betting on horse races, something that had been discussed often since the end of World War II. Off-track betting (OTB) finally became a reality in 1971. Today, the government's gambling arm loses money!

"Go, baby, go!" is a popular national horseracing slogan that has been in use in New York City and elsewhere since 1998.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
OTB U.S., off-track betting
1964 Horsemen's Jrnl. Jan. 69/2 The political sponsors of the bill have figures and plans on how to 'cut-up' the tax dollar taken through *O.T.B. 1975 New Yorker 16 June 101/2 The OTB shops around town took in $2,442,589, of which $1,649,591 was bet on the Belmont. 1998 C. CHANNER Waiting in Vain (1999) ii. 44 You keep hanging on, waiting for you luck to turn, like those guys with their eyes glazed over at the OTB.

http://www.nycotb.com/viewPage.cfm?pageId=18
NYCOTB History

While the concept of an off-track betting system was approved by New York City voters in a 1963 referendum by a three-to-one margin, the official history of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation began on April 22, 1970. That is the date that Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed into law two pieces of legislation which established the structure of off-track wagering. NYC OTB was designated to operate as a public-benefit corporation, a relatively new form of governmental entity run along the lines of a private enterprise whose profits accrue back to the taxpayers in the form of public revenue. The mission given us was three-fold: to raise needed revenue for the City and State, to combat organized crime's hold on gambling by providing a legal alternative and to help New York State's racing industry.

Less than one year later, on April 8, 1971, Howard Samuels, the first President and Chairman of the Board, saw NYC OTB open its doors and become the first legal off-track pari-mutuel wagering operation in the country. The Corporation opened with two Branch Offices and a Telephone Betting Center and had an opening day handle of $66,091.

The Branch Office network has evolved from a handful of manually supported branches with limited capabilities into over sixty full-service facilities throughout the five boroughs, accepting 1.5 million sales transactions, on average, per day. To date, NYC OTB experienced its highest handle in Fiscal Year 1988, with $1.032 billion in bets.

Immediately upon its opening, NYC OTB saw the need to provide additional services to its customers and put much effort into accomplishing it. By August 1971, all Branches were on line with an all-betting and all-cashing computer system; our betting system is periodically updated with state-of-the-art technology. By the close of Fiscal Year 1979, live calls from NYRA tracks were heard in a limited number of Branches, which are now heard throughout our entire system. A major piece of legislation, which was originally passed in 1981 and expanded many times through the years, allowed for the broadcasting of live racing (simulcasting) into our locations. In 1993, the Corporation began installing self-service betting terminals and also began upgrading our customer amenities with the installation of rest rooms and seating.

Our first Teletheater, the Inside Track in Manhattan, opened in 1986. For an admission fee, the bettor would receive track odds. In 1997 we opened the first Restaurant location at Mary McGuires in Queens. Now, with a total of three Teletheaters and ten Restaurants, we offer the opportunity to enjoy a dining experience like no other. You can wager, watch the races and enjoy a wonderful meal in a great atmosphere all at the same time.

28 July 1944, New York Times, pg. 1:
POLICE CHIEFS URGE
OFF-TRACK BETTING

"Tired of Being Made the Goats,"
They Hold Illegal Book-
Making Can't Be Stopped.

1 April 1949, New York Times, pg. 1:
DEWEY KILLS MOVE
FOR OFF-TRACK BETS

1 April 1952, New York Times, pg. 36:
RACING MEN OPPOSE
OFF-TRACK BETTING

27 February 1969, New York TImes, pg. 28:
LINDSAY WILL URGE
OFF-TRACK BETTING

Mayor Lindsay will ask the State Legislature today to authorize a system of off-track betting that could yield $160-million in revenue for the city and $40-million for the state.

23 April 1970, Los Angeles Times, pg. C3:
Off-Track Betting Becomes Law in N.Y.
ALBANY, N.Y. - THe bill legalizing off-track betting on horse racing in New York State was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller.

New York thus joined Nevada as the only states in the union permitting legalized off-track wagering.

9 December 1970, Washington Post, pg. D10:
OTB Nears Starting Gate

9 April 1971, Washington Post, pg. A1:
Like Grand Central Station? You Bet!
By Gerald Strine

New York, April 8 - Off-track betting was introduced to the United States here today following an early-morning prediction by corporation president Howard Samuels that his two branch offices would handle "about $10,000 each."

It was a pardonable low estimate by Samuels, in terms of the heavy criticism OTB had encountered while trying to get started since Jan. 11.

(Trademark)
Word Mark OTB
Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 035. US 101. G & S: PROVIDING INFORMATION ABOUT RACING EVENTS HELD IN OTHER STATES TO PARTICIPANTS IN LEGAL BETTING ACTIVITIES WITHIN NEW YORK STATE; FURNISHING INFORMATION AS TO THE NATURE OF LEGALIZED OFF-TRACK BETTING OPERATIONS AND ACTIVITIES TO RESIDENTS OF OTHER STATES; AND PROVIDING OFF-TRACK BETTING ACTIVITIES FOR OTHERS. FIRST USE: 19711115. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19711115
Mark Drawing Code (5) WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM
Serial Number 73506398
Filing Date October 31, 1984
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition October 29, 1985
Registration Number 1379480
Registration Date January 21, 1986
Owner (REGISTRANT) NEW YORK CITY OFF-TRACK BETTING CORPORATION CORPORATION NEW YORK 1501 BROADWAY NEW YORK NEW YORK 10036
Attorney of Record ARTHUR A. MARCH
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "OTB" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL-2(F)
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Cancellation Date September 15, 1992

(Trademark)
Word Mark GO BABY GO
Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 018. US 001 002 003 022 041. G & S: [ all purpose sports bags ]. FIRST USE: 19980400. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19980400
IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: hats, shirts and jackets. FIRST USE: 19980400. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19980400

IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: association services, namely, promoting the interests of participants in the sport and industry of thoroughbred horse racing. FIRST USE: 19980300. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19980300
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75512071
Filing Date July 2, 1998
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition November 23, 1999
Change In Registration CHANGE IN REGISTRATION HAS OCCURRED
Registration Number 2318116
Registration Date February 15, 2000
Owner (REGISTRANT) National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 2525 Harrodsburg Road Lexington KENTUCKY 40504
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record William H. Hollander
Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. PARTIAL SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE
Posted by Barry Popik
Sports/Games • (0) Comments • Wednesday, May 11, 2005 • Permalink