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May 24, 2019 - 10:48pm

Western OTB informs comptroller an audit would be welcome

posted by Howard B. Owens in weatern otb, Batavia Downs, business.

An audit by the state comptroller is more than welcome, officials with Western OTB, operator of Batavia Downs, said this week.

The board of directors unanimously passed a resolution pledging transparency in its business dealings and Henry Wojtaszek, president and CEO of Western OTB, sent a letter to Thomas DiNapoli inviting an audit.

"Over the past several weeks, some media reports have focused on our finances and promotional operations," Wojtaszek wrote. "In order to continue to meet our high standards of transparency and compliance, I would like to inform you we welcome an additional audit of the corporation's finances by your staff and of course will follow any recommendations we can to improve moving forward."

The moves come as a result of reports, based on information from anonymous sources, that Western OTB is the target of an FBI investigation into allegations that "politically wired" companies have received preferential treatment in contracts with the corporation. 

It's a charge officials with Western OTB deny.

A source on the board characterized the news reports as based on "rumors."

In his letter, Wojtaszek noted that Western OTB has generated more than $231 million in revenues for the 15 counties in its region and that prior comptroller audits have not revealed any financial impropriators or irregularities.

"(That) is something we are very proud of," Wojtaszek wrote.

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