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'Net win' numbers represent nearly $90 million wagered at Batavia Downs Gaming in May

By Mike Pettinella

Patrons of Batavia Downs Gaming wagered close to $90 million during the month of May, according to the chief financial officer for Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.

“Credits played in May came to $88.8 million with 7.2 percent of that – or $6.4 million – slotted into the “VGM (video game machine) net win” category,” Jacquelyne Leach said today. “Conceptually, about 8 percent of the total amount wagered makes up the net win.”

Leach reported that year to date “net win” stands at $31.6 million – a staggering number – but the public benefit company keeps a bit more than half of that amount.

Forty-nine percent of the net win goes to the New York State Gaming Commission, Leach explained, with 90 percent of that earmarked for education and 10 percent staying with the commission, which oversees gaming operations.

That leaves 51 percent, which stays with WROTB, Leach said, and is divided as follows:

  • 37 percent -- Batavia Downs vendor fee, which includes a 10 percent distribution for harness horse racing purse payments, the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association and breeders’ payments and 27 percent for operating expenses, such as payroll, utilities, etc.
  • 10 percent -- Marketing allowance to promote Batavia Downs Gaming and horse racing.
  • 4 percent -- Capital awards fund for capital improvements, debt service, etc.

“After all of the obligations are met and all operating expenses are paid, then the rest is distributed to our member municipalities,” Leach said, adding that the corporation’s surcharge distribution for May was $88,459 and that $315,000 has been generated for the municipalities since Jan. 1.

WROTB’s geographical area is comprised of 18 counties, 15 of which participate as members of the corporation, and the cities of Buffalo and Rochester.

In 2021, WROTB distributed $123,409 to Genesee County, $85,235 to Orleans County and $84,619 to Wyoming County. All told, distributions to all member municipalities for last year came to $5,793,184.

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