The Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. is not to be mistaken for a small business.
It’s a state-created public benefit corporation, owned by 15 counties and two cities, and charged with running legalized betting operations in western and central New York. It shares its profits with those local governments and the State of New York.
Its employees, starting with its well compensated CEO, Henry Wojtaszek, are treated as public-sector employees, drawing, for example, a pension from the state.
And OTB reported some $3.1 million in cash reserves in its last audited financial statements.
Nevertheless, OTB has managed to obtain federal funding intended to help keep small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It appears permissible under the Payroll Protection Program, which is coming under increasing criticism for providing funds to questionable recipients while denying money to many legitimate small businesses.
OTB officials disclosed this week the organization will receive $3.2 million through the program, the majority of which is intended to cover eight weeks of payroll costs, plus other expenses such as utilities and employee benefits.