David O’Rourke, who has been serving as interim CEO of the New York Racing Association since the departure of Christopher Kay a little more than two months ago, has been unanimously appointed by the NYRA Board of Directors as CEO and president of the organization, effective immediately.
“I am honored to have been selected by the Board of Directors to lead NYRA during this exciting time in its storied history,” said O’Rourke. “We have made tremendous progress as an organization over the past several years, but there is still much work to be done to continue to grow our racing product during an era of unprecedented competition and change within the sports and entertainment industry. I thank the NYRA Board for this opportunity and will continue to rely upon the outstanding talent within our organization as we work closely with industry partners and stakeholders to build upon our successes.”
O’Rourke, 45, became NYRA’s director of financial planning in 2008 before taking on the role of vice president for corporate development in 2010. Three years later, he was appointed NYRA chief revenue officer and senior vice president, where he was responsible for NYRA’s business development strategies across a range of disciplines including industry relations, simulcast markets and contracts, television strategy, advance deposit wagering (ADW) operations, and capital projects.
During his tenure at NYRA, O’Rourke has played a key role in fostering the development and growth of NYRA Bets, the company’s national advance deposit wagering platform that is currently available in 30 states. He has also helped promote the growth of NYRA’s television broadcasts Belmont Park Live and Saratoga Live, which in 2019 will televise nearly every raceday in 2019 from Belmont and Saratoga.