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Batavia Downs

September 30, 2013 - 3:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Press release:

Batavia Downs announced today that the gaming floor portion of its highly anticipated expansion project will open on Friday, Oct. 4.

"We are very excited to open this first phase of our expansion,” said Michael D. Kane, president and CEO of Batavia Downs. “As a public benefit corporation, the expansion of the gaming floor and the addition of three new restaurants will allow us to generate more revenue for local municipalities.”

As a public benefit corporation, all profits from Western OTB and Batavia Downs Gaming net expenses are contributed back to the 15 counties and two cities of Western New York.

Pictures and videos from the expansion as well as updates can be found on Batavia Downs’ Web site (www.bataviadownsgaming.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/bataviadowns) and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/bataviadowns). A grand opening celebration with a ribbon cutting and other events will occur in a few weeks.

September 15, 2013 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, scholarship race.

Press release:

Nate Cornell of Batavia High School won the "Dash For Cash" race at Batavia Downs Saturday night (Sept. 14) and the $3,000 first-place scholarship check.

Sponsored by the Harness Horse Breeders of New York, the Western New York Harness Horsemen Association, Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs, five high school seniors are paired up with professional drivers and battle for $7,500 in scholarship money. It was the fourth year of a competition. The high school seniors have been working with the horsemen since Aug. 1 in preparation for race day, learning all aspects of racing and the care of the horses.

Cornell and driver Ron Beback went wire-to-wire with "Nate Lobell" to take the victory while Kelsey Bezon, of Elba, and driver Ray Fisher Jr. finished second aboard "Lady Lancer" and won $2,000.

Brian Borkholder, of Oakfield-Alabama, and driver Jim Graham finished in third and earned $1,200. Notre Dame student Dylan Cory, of Batavia, and driver Mike Baumeister finished in fourth -- good for $800, while Dylan Scharlau, of Alexander, and driver Shawn McDonough finished in fifth and received $500 for college.

August 26, 2013 - 12:06am
posted by Luke Cullinan in batavia, Batavia Downs, sports, Wiener Dog Races.

Gordon, owned by Lindsay Ryan, notched a three-peat today in the annual Wiener Dog Race at Batavia Downs.

Gordon bested a field of 72 wieners that converged on the Downs from all over WNY.

The grand prize was a $100 free play at Batavia Downs Casino.

Lindsay Ryan, extremely happy with Gordon’s victory, was hinting of retirement for her fleet-footed canine.

“He’s going to be seven next year and we will have to see what happens, maybe it’s time for Gordon to retire. I’d like to give someone else a chance to win,” Ryan said.

Finishing second, two-dog lengths behind Gordon, was Daisy owned by Vernon Marzolf while Max owned by Chris Cummings and Isabella owned by Victoria Small tied for third.

Tater who was in Heat #4 enjoys a post race snack.

Gordan in the final race.

Winner Gordan and Lindsay Ryan with their prize.

August 24, 2013 - 7:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, sports, Wiener Dog Race.

Press release:

Late August is considered the "Dog Days of Summer" and it also must mean it's time for the annual Petco Wiener Dog races. The popular event is once again part of "Family Fun Day" at the races, this Sunday afternoon (Aug. 25) at Batavia Downs with the dachshund race competition getting under way at approximately 4:15 p.m., after the completion of the live 11-race harness racing card.

Gordon, owned by Lindsay Ryan, is the two-time defending champion. He dead-heated with another wiener dog legend, Jake Arnold, in 2011 and then scored an extremely narrow win last year. He'll try to make wiener dog history by winning this event three consecutive years in a row.

There will be up to 10 heats with each winner scoring a $25 free play voucher to Batavia Downs Gaming. The heat winners then return for a championship race with the winning owner getting $100 in free play, second place gets $75 in free play while the third place finisher receives $50 in free play. The owners of the top three finishers will also get two complimentary buffets.

The first 70 entrants also receive doggie bags from the official sponsor of the Wiener Dog races, Petco of Batavia.

"It's a day we look forward to every year and judging by the size of the crowd we draw, so do our fans," said Batavia Downs General Manager of Live Racing Todd Haight.

Besides $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, soda, draft beer and snow cones, there will be free pony rides for the kids from 2-4 p.m. sponsored by Castilone Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep of Batavia, along with appearances by Pringles The Clown and Mr. Scribbles.

The live harness racing action begins at 1:15 p.m. Admission and parking is free.

August 21, 2013 - 12:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, Wiener Dog Races.

Attention weeny dog owners! There are 20 spots still open for the highly anticipated and prestigious wiener dog races this Sunday, Aug. 25, at Batavia Downs.

The goal is to have 80 dogs from all over Western New York vie for the championship.
If you want your dog to experience the thrill of competition and, possibly, the sublime joy of victory, then call Sara Tenney at Batavia Downs to secure a spot. Phone is (585) 343-3750, ext. 309.

Each heat winner gets $25 in Free Play. There are scheduled to be 10 heats and then a championship Final. The top three dog owners in Final receive free play.

The hot dog action is part of Batavia Downs' annual "Family Fun Day," which runs from 2 to 4 p.m. The Downs will also feature 11 horse races, free pony rides, Pringles The Clown, Mr. Scribbles and $1 hot dogs and sodas from noon to 4 p.m.

Bring the entire family for a special matinee racing time Sunday at 1:15 p.m. and enjoy a fun day around horses. Watch these local wiener dogs race down the track for prizes! This is fun for the whole family.

Parking and admission are totally free! Batavia Downs is located at 8315 Park Road Batavia.

August 20, 2013 - 5:07pm

Rochester media is buzzing today about a purported announcement by the Seneca Nation looking to open a casino in Henrietta.

WHAM 13 is among the stations reporting that the tribe wants to expand to the Rochester suburb.

Michael D. Kane, president and CEO of Western Region OTB, said this afternoon, there will be no Seneca-owned casino in Henrietta, at least not any time soon.

"Under the current statutory scheme, they will not be able to put a casino in Western New York," Kane said. "Without a statutory change, which isn't likely to happen in today's environment, they cannot do what they're looking to do."

Kane said he isn't really sure what prompted the Seneca's to announce an interest in a casino in Henrietta when something like that happening at this time is more of a dream than even a hope.

"If casino gaming became regulated in New York State rather than prohibited, then perhaps they could fashion some agreement with the federal government to do it," Kane said. "From my point of view, there's no change in enforcement from today than there was yesterday."

Western OTB runs Batavia Downs Racetrack and Casino which, under terms of an agreement between the Senecas and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is blocked from expanding into a full-fledged casino.

According to WHAM, the Senecas have hired Flaum Management to "coordinate the development" of a casino.

"This is an exciting day," CEO David Flaum said. "I am profoundly grateful for Seneca Nation for choosing me. I hope to assist them in bringing a casino here."

Kane said Flaum has been a consultant for the Senecas for 12 years.

Also, see the Rochester Business Journal: Seneca Nation to work with Flaum on gaming, hospitality development here.

July 26, 2013 - 7:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Press release:

Batavia Downs announced today that their highly anticipated expansion project will open on Sept. 27.

"Pushing back our opening date ensures that all facets of our new gaming facility will be finished and ready to accept customers,” said Michael D. Kane, president and CEO of Batavia Downs.

Batavia Downs will be open on Aug. 28th and 29th, days which the casino had planned to be closed. Promotions already scheduled around the weekend of Aug. 30th, including several large cash drawings, will go on as planned. 

"Customers should check our Twitter and Facebook pages for exciting promotions planned on days we were to be closed,” said Ryan Hasenauer, director of marketing.
 

July 23, 2013 - 7:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

The 67th year of racing at Batavia Downs Race Track and Casino kicked off Batavia Downs on Monday evening and in a season when some of the dominant drivers of recent years are out for one reason or another, the competition for top driver in 2013 is wide open.

Especially after an opening night that saw eight different drivers trot into the winners circle.

Track announcer Joe Zambito.

To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

July 23, 2013 - 7:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

If the opening night of action is any indication about the 2013 driver's race at Batavia Downs, things probably will be up in the air until the final night.

The 72-day meet at Batavia Downs, now in its 67th season, started Monday evening and after the nine-race card was completed, eight different drivers found their way to the winner's circle.

But someone managed to take the lead after the first night and that was 18-year-old provisional driver Drew Monti who managed to post a pair of victories. He scored with Carscot Review ($5.90) in the second race and Special News ($2.60) in the seventh to take the spotlight.

Batavia Downs Live Racing General Manager Todd Haight said of the first night, "We had a great crowd tonight. We distributed a large amount of free programs and our handle was about what we expected.  Overall, considering all we've had to deal with to get the property ready for racing I'm extremely pleased." Racing fans wishing to view replays of the races can do so at bataviadownscasino.com. Simply click on 'Live Racing' tab then on date and race number.    

Racing action returns on Wednesday night with a 6:30 p.m. start. The feature will go off in the seventh race as the fillies and mares do battle in the Open for $8,500. The 2-1 morning line favorite is Keep It Fair who captured the Fillies and Mares Open last week at Buffalo Raceway by going wire-to-wire in 1:55.3 for driver Aaron Byron. Greg Merton, however, will be take the reins this time around and score Keep It Fair from the two post.

Wednesday night also marks the return of 'Batavia Downs Live' on Time-Warner Cable in Rochester and surrounding areas on digital channel 98. Track announcer Joe Zambito and Ashley Holliday will co-host the 12-race card from start to finish.

July 19, 2013 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

Excitement. Anticipation. Optimism. Those three words are probably the best to describe the upcoming 2013 harness racing season at Batavia Downs, beginning on Monday (July 22) with a 6:30 p.m. post.

The 72-day harness schedule will be highlighted once again by popular promotions, a new addition in the betting format and some new faces in the trainer and driver colony.

And that's just on the racing side.              

The much anticipated opening of the new video lottery terminal area in the old Paddock Room is expected Aug. 30 and it will bring an added electric atmosphere to the half-mile oval throughout the summer and fall months.

"It might be a little tough at first but the end product will look great," said Todd Haight, general manager of Live Racing, when speaking about the renovations going on at Batavia Downs Gaming and Race Track. "We've lost some space on the racing side. But we are really excited about it all and what the end result will be. With the new gaming floor, new concession stand, sports bar and restaurant, we are very optimistic for the future."

At the start of the season, fans wanting to get to the apron of the track will enter the gate by the paddock (left-hand side of the facility) while those wanting to go to the video lottery terminal area, the clubhouse or enclosed grandstand will still enter where they normally would at the main entrance. Haight noted that one can reach the rail on the apron by walking down the stairs in the grandstands.

Haight is extremely pleased that "Batavia Downs Live" will return to Time-Warner Cable, digital channel 98, which serves Rochester and surrounding counties.

"This could be huge for us. We did not have a consistent schedule in the past but now we do. We will be on cable TV Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights through at least the end of October."

Besides using Western Regional Off-Track Betting’s Dial-A-Bet system, racing fans will be able to watch and wager on the races via Batavia Bets, WROTB’s online wagering platform.

"Batavia Bets offers an easy rewards program for wagers made on us," Haight said. "The online site is user friendly and you don't have to wait for an operator to take your call. We thought it made sense to bring back the TV show now that we offer online wagering.”

Ashley Holliday will serve as a co-host along with track announcer Joe Zambito.

"Ashley is very knowledgeable and has basically done it all in the horse business,” Haight said. "She will give her insight and perspective on the races. She'll also explain to fans about different pieces of equipment. I think our fans will find it very interesting.”

While there are several ways to wager without going to the track, Haight says getting people out to the Downs is imperative.

"We showed huge growth on our export handle last season, but we must continue to do our best to get people to come out to the racetrack. Like in previous seasons we've got a lot of good promotions that hopefully will do just that.”

Some of this year’s promotions include several dollar days (or nights), two free handicapping contests, the wiener dogs races that began in 2005 and remain more popular than ever, the driver's bike races that began in the early 1980s and the season ending Pick-6 contest.

A kickoff booklet will be distributed on Saturday night (July 27), which features free wagers for Pick-4s, daily doubles and racing programs. All live racing programs will contain a $5 free play coupon for the video games.

Haight stated that the driver's bike race, normally held on Labor Day, will be held on Columbus Day instead.

"With the New York Sires Stakes here on Labor Day we decided to move the bike race to Columbus Day.”

The very popular all-you-can-eat shrimp, prime rib and crab leg buffet will return every Friday and Saturday night in the clubhouse. New this year, Player's Extra members are entitled to receive $3 off their buffet.

Another added feature this season in the clubhouse is mutuel clerks that will be taking bets tableside.

“Customers won't have to leave their table to make a wager," Haight said. "This isn’t really new, but it’s new to us. Many customers had a hard time going up and down the stairs to make a wager. I’m confident our clubhouse patrons will really enjoy this feature.”

The annual college scholarship race is slated for Saturday (Sept. 14). Five more high school seniors will compete for their share of $7,500 in college scholarship money.

The 11th annual $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace is scheduled for Saturday (Oct. 5). This race usually attracts some top, hard-hitting pacers from all over the country. Previous winners include Foiled Again, the richest pacer in harness racing history.

Exciting New York Sires Stakes action begins on Aug. 16. The Caledonia Fair races have been rescheduled to be held at the Downs on Aug. 1. Also this season, the Downs will host the New York County Fair finals on Aug. 28.

New trainer/drivers in town include Jacques Beaudoin, Gaston Lareau, Mario Dessureault and former Downs regular Fred Cohen, the last three making the move up from Pompano Park in Florida.

Speaking of drivers, the track will also print in the nightly program the driver's choice in a race.

"When a driver is initially listed to drive several horses in a race, he gets to choose who he wants to drive," Haight said. "We will now print their choices in the bottom of each program page. It could be a great handicapping tool."

As far as the wagering format goes, Batavia Downs has added a second Pick-3 to its menu along with a new Pick-5 ($2 minimum). The Pick-5 replaces the Pick-6. To win the Pick-5, the customer must select all five winners in the Pick-5 sequence or the entire pool carries over.

Batavia Downs will also be part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program, beginning Aug. 7, when the Pick-4 pool will be guaranteed at $3,000.

Racing will be held Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights in July with a 6:30 p.m. post time. Then in August, racing switches to a Sunday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday format with posts remaining at 6:30 p.m., with the exception of Sundays, which get under way at 1:15 p.m. The season ends on Saturday (Dec. 7).

July 11, 2013 - 1:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming will be closing at 10 p.m. on Monday, July 15 and reopen no later than 3 p.m. on the following day, Tuesday, July 16 to accommodate construction work.

Management is confident that the facility will reopen prior to 3 p.m. that day. Those wishing to find information on the reopening of the facility should check Batavia Downs’ Web site (bataviadownsgaming.com) as well as their social media pages on Facebook (facebook.com/bataviadowns) and Twitter (twitter.com/bataviadowns) for up to date information that day after 11 a.m.

The newly expanded gaming floor is scheduled to open on Aug. 30.

July 11, 2013 - 12:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

Racing fans will notice some changes when the 2013 live racing season gets under way at America’s oldest lighted harness track, Batavia Downs. The 67th season July 22, with a new post time of 6:30 p.m.

The historic track is in the midst of a $27 million construction project to move and expand the gaming floor to the ground level. The projected opening is Aug. 30.

Racing fans wishing to enjoy the races on the track apron or in the paddock room must enter through the north gate, located where a new cross walk has been installed. Racing fans wishing to dine in the clubhouse or view the races from the enclosed grandstand can continue to enter through the main entrance.

“We’re excited about nearing the completion of phase one of the expansion project,” said William White, vice president of Administration. “We have been working closely with Todd (Haight, GM of Live Racing) to put this facility back together in time for racing.

"I’m confident both our racing and gaming customers will enjoy the benefits from having both venues on the same level.”

Among the improvements on the racing side are a new paved track apron, redesigned paddock room mutuel betting windows and walk about tellers in the clubhouse.

July 8, 2013 - 2:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports.

Press release:

One of the biggest events on the promotional calendar at Batavia Downs every season is the Wiener Dog Races and 2013 will be no exception as the dachshunds take to the track during this year's Family Fun Day at the races, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 25.

Entry into the races begins today, July 8. To enter your dachshund, call event coordinator Arna Tygart at 585-343-3750, ext. 437.

There is an 80-dog limit and an also-eligible list will be started if needed. The first 70 dogs entered will receive a "Doggie Gift Bag" courtesy of the race sponsor -- Petco of Batavia.

The fleet-footed dachshund named Gordon, owned by Lindsay Ryan, of Lancaster, will be looking to three-peat in this year’s event. He dead-heated with another wiener dog legend, Jake Arnold, and then scored a very narrow victory last year.

A total of 10 heats will be contested this year with eight wiener dogs in each race.

The winners of each qualifying heat will receive $25 in free play at Batavia Downs Gaming. The winners of each heat will advance to the finals with the champion getting $100 of free play for the gaming machines.

The second- and third-place finishers will also receive free play. The wiener dog competition, a dash down the homestretch of Batavia Downs, will begin after the last live harness race, at approximately 4:20 p.m.

"This is one of our biggest days of the year and it definitely brings out one our largest crowds of the season," said Batavia Downs' General Manager of Live Racing Todd Haight. “We'll get dogs coming in from all around New York State. In fact, we have heard some are already in training."

Besides the wiener dog races, other highlights of the Family Fun Day will include free pony rides from 2 until 4 p.m. sponsored by Castilone Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep of Batavia.

The day will also see appearances by the ever popular Pringles the Clown and Mr. Scribbles. There will be $1 Salhen’s hot dogs and $1 sodas available from noon until 4.

A 12-race card of afternoon harness racing is scheduled on Family Fun Day with first post slated for 1:15 p.m. Admission and parking is free.

Batavia Downs, the oldest lighted harness track, will kick off its 67th season on Monday, July 22.

June 21, 2013 - 9:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business, Western Regional OTB.

Press release:

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTBC), owner/operator of Batavia Downs has pledged its support of the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act and the referendum that will be put to the citizens of New York State in November.

“This legislation keeps Batavia Downs Gaming as a vital partner to state and local governments,” said Michael Kane, president and CEO of WROTBC and Batavia Downs Gaming. “This act will allow us to continue providing good paying jobs and generating significant funding for schools and our municipalities. Governor Cuomo and the legislature recognize the significant contributions made by racetrack casinos in Western New York to state education funding and job creation.”

June 17, 2013 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

"Batavia Downs Live,” the popular three-and-a-half hour television broadcast of the harness races from Batavia Downs, returns on July 24, the second racing night of the 2013 season, at the historic track located in Genesee County.

A total of 20 race cards will be televised in the Time-Warner Rochester region on digital cable Channel 98. The coverage area includes Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, and Seneca counties.

The broadcast beings at 6:30 p.m. and will conclude at 10 p.m.

Ashley Holliday, who currently serves as the Downs parade marshal, will now double as TV host and racing analyst on all Time Warner broadcasts, while continuing her duties as parade marshal on other race nights. She’ll co-host the broadcast with longtime track announcer Joe Zambito.

“Bringing Ashley aboard will add another dimension to our broadcast,” said Todd Haight, general manager of live racing. “Throughout the years she's gained a tremendous knowledge of harness racing and will do a great job of conveying that to our viewers.

"It only made sense to bring back the TV broadcast now that OTB offers online wagering at Bataviabets.com. I expect some real growth once the season begins.”

Western Regional Off-Track Betting, the owner of Batavia Downs, also provides telephone betting through its Dial-A-Bet service. Patrons may phone 1.800.724.4000 to establish an account or for more information on how to open a Batavia Bets account.

June 14, 2013 - 12:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

We're not supposed to call it Batavia Downs Casino anymore, but beyond that, officials are still sorting out what a new compact between New York and the Seneca Nation means for Western Regional OTB.

In exchange for resuming long-overdue payments, at a reduced rate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has granted the Senecas exclusive rights to casino operations in WNY.

Exactly what "exclusivity" means hasn't been entirely spelled out, said Michael Kane, president of the Western Regional OTB.

Dick Siebert said he's worried the governor has given away Rochester to the Senecas after promising that Batavia Downs would be the only gaming facility in the region.

Dropping "casino" from the name isn't too troubling, nor is the requirement to stop calling video terminal games "slots," and even the loss of electronic table games isn't crippling, but there needs to be some compensation to WROTB for the deal cut with the Senecas.

The Senecas had their taxes reduced, Siebert said, so should Batavia Downs.

"They got what they wanted and we’re just looking for a little relief ourselves since they took the table games away from us," he said.

WROTB is lobbying for a 15-percent reduction in the amount of money it sends to New York, Siebert said.

"We need concessions to be able to provide more for our local counties," Siebert said.

Batavia Downs is undergoing a $27-million renovation downstairs and space was being set aside for electronic table games. That space will just now be used for something else, Siebert said.

"We can survive without them (the table games), that's for sure," Siebert said.

Kane agreed.

"We still think our customers will be very happy with the expansion," Kane said.

Related link: The Buffalo News.

March 12, 2013 - 3:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Western Regional Off-Track Betting and Batavia Downs Casino are pleased to announce they will be hosting a World Harness Handicapping Championship qualifier at the historic harness track on Friday night, March 22.

Entry fee is $10 and two entries are permitted. The initial entry fee includes $5 returned in Casino slot play. The contest is limited to 150 entries.

The qualifier will consist of races 1 – 10 at Buffalo Raceway and races 1 – 8 at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Contestants are required to make a total of nine mythical win-place wagers on the 18 designated contest races of which at least five contest wagers must be made on Buffalo Raceway. The remaining four wagers can be made on either Buffalo Raceway or the Meadowlands. Only one mythical wager is allowed per designated contest race.

Each contest wager will consist of a mythical $10 win-place wager. No best bet selection is required.

The “Win” mutuel will be capped at $40. The “Place” mutuel will be capped at $20 Therefore, the most a contestant can win in any given contest race is $300.

The Grand prize is a trip to compete in the $100,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship to be held on April 13 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The winner will also receive hotel accommodations for two nights and $500 in expense money. The package is valued at $1,750. The top 10 finishers receive prize money.

Advance payments are being accepted by mailing a check or mail order to Batavia Downs Casino, 8315 Park Road, Batavia NY 14020, Attn: Todd H.

Walk-ups the night of the contest can also enter with the amount of open seats available determined by the number of advance entries.

January 31, 2013 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Press release:

The staff of Batavia Downs Casino and Thurman Thomas have released the name and logo of their new bar and restaurant to be built inside Batavia Downs Casino. After receiving hundreds of entries via a naming contest, run through Twitter, the name chosen by staff and Mr. Thomas is “34 Rush."

The logo of the new sports bar includes Thurman’s signature and the phrase “34 Rush” with a slightly pitched block font and the words sports bar underneath. Fans who wish to follow “34 Rush” may do so at facebook.com/34rush as well as twitter.com/34rush.

“We give thanks to the many fans that submitted names over the course of last week," said Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing for Batavia Downs Casino. “The name of the bar correlates to Mr. Thomas’ position and his number. The bar name is not one of a typical sports bar. It’s unique, just like Thurman.”

Batavia Downs Casino is in the process of reaching out to the Twitter commenters that helped contribute to the naming of the bar. Those persons will enjoy a dinner with Mr. Thomas as well as prizes from the casino.  The facility’s $28 million dollar expansion begins on Feb. 4 and will conclude some time in the fall.

January 15, 2013 - 12:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Press release:

The staff of Batavia Downs Casino and Thurman Thomas are now accepting entries to name the Hall of Famer’s new restaurant on site at Batavia Downs Casino.

The facility’s $28 Million dollar expansion begins within a month and includes construction of a new Thurman Thomas sports bar. Customers may tweet a suggestion for the Sports Bar’s name on Twitter by tweeting from their account and including the name of the Sports Bar with the tag @BataviaDowns. The contest will end at Noon on Friday, Jan. 18.

Staff from Batavia Downs Casino and Thurman Thomas will review the entries and declare a winner before the end of January.

The person that submits the winning name will win dinner for two inside the new sports bar with Thurman Thomas and Batavia Downs Staff when the new facility opens sometime in the fall. The winner shall also receive a Batavia Downs Casino Prize Pack valued at more than $250.

If more than one person suggests the winning name, then one person shall be randomly chosen from those who suggested that name. Winner will be notified via twitter that they have won. Full rules can be found on Batavia Downs Casino’s Web site at www.bataviadownscasino.com.

“Thurman’s new sports bar will offer great food, a stage for live entertainment on weekends, and many large flat screen TVs where our patrons can enjoy all their favorite sporting events,” said Ryan Hasenauer, director of marketing for Batavia Downs Casino. “It will also feature various pieces of football and Thurman Thomas memorabilia.”

January 7, 2013 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business, Western OTB.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Casino has closed the books on another record year, with a casino expansion starting in less than one month and the possibility of enhanced gaming on the horizon. The facility has enjoyed at least 4-percent growth every year since opening in 2005.

The 640 video lottery terminals at the track’s gaming parlor generated $45.1 million last year in net winnings, according to the NY Lottery. This figure is up 13.38 percent from 2011’s $39.78 million. Earnings in 2011 were 5.53 percent over what was earned in 2010.

“As one of the nine New York State Racetrack Casinos, we are giving back to the State of New York via our daily contributions to the New York State Lottery, and our distributions to our member municipalities,” said Michael Kane, CEO and president for Batavia Downs Casino.

Batavia Downs in owned and operated by Western Regional Off-Track Betting, a public benefit corporation. Municipalities that own Batavia Downs Casino include: the cities of Buffalo and Rochester, and the counties of Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Wyoming.

“As a public benefit corporation, all revenues net expenses are distributed to the fifteen counties and two cities of Western New York,” said Ryan Hasenauer, director of marketing for Batavia Downs Casino. “People know that when they come here for entertainment, their money is going to New York State, either via the lottery for education or to the counties that they live and work in. We’re happy to give back.”

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