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April 22, 2014 - 11:36am

WNY gaming and racing venues raked in $32.6 million for the state during first fiscal quarter

posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs.

Press release:

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. (WROTB), Hamburg Gaming and Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack today announced they have contributed $32.6 million during the first quarter of 2014 to the State of New York as part of their gaming revenue-sharing arrangement.

They also provided horsemen purses of $5.4 million during the same period.

WROTB owns and operates Batavia Downs Gaming in Batavia as well as OTB branches throughout Western New York.

The quarterly payment brings the total paid to the State by the three gaming entities to $1,061,374,354 since the venues opened about 10 years ago. Horsemen have received an additional $174,854,433 since the inception of the facilities.

Michael P. Nolan, executive vice president/COO of WROTB, noted that more than $215 million has been given to the 15 counties and two cities that own WROTB since its inception.

"The operations at Batavia, Hamburg and Finger Lakes have not only positively impacted the lives of thousands of families across our region through direct and indirect employment, they also provide a consistent and significant stream of revenue for 15 counties and two cities, helping to alleviate the tax burden for people across the region," said WROTC President Michael Kane. "Every person within the 15-county area that we encompass has a vested financial interest in the success of our operations."

tim raines
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Helping to alleviate the tax burden??

A billion dollars contibuted to NYS in a 10 year period.

The highest taxes in the country.

Where's the money?

Jason Post
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More accurately they're giving NYS even more money to recklessly waste. But that just doesn't make nearly as nice of a press release.

tom hunt
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I am glad that all the money that I have lost over the past year is going to a good cause......NYS, HA!

Mark Potwora
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Another way to look at it is that 32 million won't be spent in the private sector of WNY..

Mary E DelPlato
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This literally sickens me...

Lincoln DeCoursey
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It looks like a roughly 80/20 split with the state taking the lion's share and the remainder divided among the counties and cities within the region.

Mary E DelPlato
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I sometimes hate myself for going in the casino...I've alwas had control but it all spiraled out of control over a year ago....I was so lured in by all the lights and the sound and maybe hitting the big one but thousands of dollars later I never hit that...I'm slowly crawling out of the hole I fell into....I lost all control...it was like a feeding frenz where I became oblivious to all I held about that place....nothing mattered anymore...my house my truck ...other assets...and my friends and family....how I cried often asking God to help me cuz I didn't know why ...I knew it wasn't good but I couldn't stop! I will never recoup what I lost there...do I hold them responsile?.in a way yes....they seen me coming and they seen I stayed and stayed...if I ran out I could use the atm machines that were readily available....if I had more at home id run backand get it....I'm getting help...I'm trying to rebuild...its rough but I will get there....and seeing their profits just makes me stew....dam dam dam...lottery terminals are no different....the only thing is I can't ban myself from those

Dave Olsen
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I am glad you have found a way to get help, Mary. It took courage to share your story publicly. Most folks wouldn't do that.

It brings up the question of should government really be in the gambling business? I'm not against gambling, I just don't do it much, because I, like Rick above am really really bad at it. I just think it is preying upon peoples' weaknesses to fund government stupidity. All casinos should be private enterprises. Period. How much as well are the restaurant and bar in the downs hurting local establishments?

Marc Staley
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Keep in mind....the money that is "split" between the 15 counties and 2 cities in WNY is divided by POPULATION. So while the lion's share of the money gambled away at Batavia Downs comes from Genesee County residents....we only get about 4% back! The vast majority of the money goes to Erie and Monroe County.

They should release the figures for $$ flowing back into each county. People would be outraged at this awful deal.

I realize the impact the Downs' has to job creation........some local restaurants, hotels, and other businesses....and I'm not discounting that. Just pointing out that the original "Deal" is crap. The host county should benefit to a greater degree.

Eric [Rick] von...
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I have and still Am in favor of Gambling. I don't gamble, I realized in the 60's at the track, that i worked too hard for my money, and i was a lousey gambler. I remember very clearly, that we were told the lottery money was to go for education. I thought what a great idea, if it had actually been used the way we were promised, just imagine the education system we would have today! Now a very small percentage goes to education,,,,,, the general fund gets the majority and then gets lost in space.

James Renfrew
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I remember when the State of Maryland established a lottery that the promise was "every dime earned will go to education". What they didn't say is that the state would then reduce education lines in the expense budget. So there wasn't much difference in education that I could see.

Scott Ogle
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"Just pointing out that the original "Deal" is crap"

In every way. .

Mark Potwora
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How come the lottery had to run a contest to use school age children to promote gambling to get extra 10,000 dollars in school aid for their school...Batavia city school was in the top three...Never heard any more about it...The state should never use children to promote gambling..I agree with Dave All casinos should be private enterprises. Period...In the city of Batavia we lose out because Batavia Downs being owned by the state they pay no property tax..

Howard B. Owens
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Mark, there was a follow up. Batavia was disqualified for a minor technical violation in how the video was produced. A group of local parents tried to organize a fundraiser in response.

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