O’Rourke unanimously appointed NYRA Chief Executive Officer

Posted: March 26, 2019

The New York Racing Association March 26 announced the unanimous appointment of David O’Rourke as Chief Executive Officer.

O’Rourke, who has been serving as interim CEO since Jan. 23 after the departure of Christopher Kay, will assume the role effective immediately.

“David has made significant and lasting contributions to NYRA since he joined the organization more than a decade ago,” NYRA Board of Directors Chairman Michael Del Giudice said. “He possesses broad expertise in nearly every facet of the industry, enjoys deep respect among his NYRA colleagues and industry peers, and understands how the sport and the business will continue to evolve in the future.

“His combination of skills and obvious leadership ability made this an easy choice and we congratulate David on this appointment.”

O’Rourke, 45, joined NYRA as Director of Financial Planning in 2008 before becoming Vice President for Corporate Development in 2010. In 2013 he was appointed Chief Revenue Officer and Senior Vice President. In that role, O’Rourke 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 operations, and capital projects.

During his tenure, O’Rourke has played a signature role in spearheading the development and growth of NYRA Bets, the national ADW platform currently available in 30 states. He has also helped shepherd the dramatic expansion of NYRA’s flagship television broadcasts, Belmont Park Live and Saratoga Live, which will feature live coverage nearly every race day in 2019 from Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.

“I am honored to have been selected by the board of directors to lead NYRA during this exciting time in its storied history,” O’Rourke said. “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 is a member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Board of Directors and is a member of the Saratoga Race Course Local Advisory Board. He earned an MBA from Tulane University and is a graduate of Richard Stockton College.

Prior to joining NYRA, O’Rourke was a member of the Zolfo Cooper and Capstone Advisory Group Corporate Restructuring Practices, specializing in multiple operational and financial reorganization efforts in the real estate development, gaming, auto manufacturing, retailing and shipping industries. He also served as Vice President of Operations at Datek Online and was instrumental in helping the company develop into the world’s fourth-largest online brokerage.

(David O’Rourke photo courtesy of NYRA)