Skip to main content

Board OKs 4 1/2 percent raise for WROTB employees, feasibility study for expansion of Hotel at Batavia Downs

By Mike Pettinella

A raise for all Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. employees, a plan to expand The Hotel at Batavia Downs and an application to add more terminals to the gaming floor.

Those items and the passage of about 65 resolutions that had been in the hopper for up to three months gave WROTB directors plenty of activity at this morning’s board meeting at Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road.

Directors voted in favor of a resolution granting all employees of the public benefit company a 4 ½ percent raise, effective Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2024.

“The organization is only as good as the people who support the organization,” said Temporary Chair Dennis Bassett (City of Rochester). “… It a step in the right direction for us as a board.”

The pay increase extends to all employees, union and non-union, including senior management, who were given a three-year contract last spring.

WROTB President/Chief Executive Officer Henry Wojtaszek said the (United Professional & Service Employees) Union signed a contract “that gives those workers the same raise as the entire corporation.”

“In the old days, they had a separate clause in there where they would have a raise depending upon what they negotiated that year,” he said. “But the latest contract that they signed, they get the same as every other employee at WROTB.”

The resolutions stated that Batavia Downs Gaming’s net win (money left in the gaming machines after payouts to customers) rose by $7.2 million from 2022 to 2023 and attendance increased by more than 58,000 during that same period. Additionally, food and beverage, and hotel room sales increased by 14 percent.

Update: Antonella Rotilio, UPSEU labor relations representative, said that the union is "very pleased that the board acknowledges the success of the corporation because of the members and the employees. Those are big steps."


The board passed two resolutions pertaining to The Hotel at Batavia Downs – one to extend its contract with Hart Hotel Inc. to manage the 84-room facility for three more years at a cost not to exceed $9,000 per month and the other to authorize spending up to $100,000 for a feasibility study to determine if expansion is warranted.

Wojtaszek said that Dave Hart, owner of Hart Hotel Inc., will “take the lead on looking for an architect to do the drawing and for a company to study how an expansion would affect our business.”

He said the board will not make a decision until the feasibility study is complete and submitted for review. He said adding 40 rooms has been talked about but “nothing is definite at this point.”


Vice President/Operations Sean Schiano has applied to the New York State Gaming Commission for the right to add 18 more Video Lottery Terminals to the gaming floor.

Wojtaszek said the addition of 18 games would max out the floor, increasing the total number to 928.

“After that (approval) we probably will not have much more room to expand on the current floor, so we’d have to take a different approach,” he said. “But those 18 will fit on our current makeup.”

In other action, the board voted to approve the 2024 Operating Plan that was submitted by Chief Financial Officer Jacquelyne Leach and her staff. 

Previously: Member municipality distributions to approach $10 million in 2024: WROTB chief financial officer

Authentically Local