On the Eve of a Triple Crown Run, OTB Enters the Final Stretch


Photos by Nick Atlas

When you hit the local OTB this weekend to lay down that trifecta, take a good look around. The next time a horse makes a run at the Triple Crown, there might not be an Off-Track Betting parlor where you can make your fortune—or lose your shirt.

As Big Brown makes a run at history as the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, OTB is looking like history. Mayor Bloomberg has threatened to shut all of the city’s OTB parlors by June 16, if the state doesn’t come up with a more equitable revenue-sharing solution.

Whether you play the ponies or not, OTB is a part of the city’s fabric—and another part of the old New York that’s vanishing every day. Nick Atlas captured some of the ramshackle charm of OTB and its patrons in his photo essay. Is it an enjoyable journey? You bet.