Cuomo’s New Finger Lakes Proposal Calls For Reduction In Racing Days

by | 02.18.2017 | 9:23am

Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a new plan for New York's Finger Lakes Racetrack on Friday evening, designed to compensate for the gambling dollars moving away from that track's racino to the nearby, newly-opened del Lago casino. According to, Cuomo's administration intends to bail out Finger Lakes' purse fund via contributions from both del Lago and Delaware North, owner/operator of Finger Lakes.

The proposal would require Delaware North to commit between $600,000 and $1 million to the purse fund, with del Lago contributing an additional $440,000. In return, the proposal requires horsemen to guarantee an average minimum number of entries per race; that number has not yet been made public. The New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund would also contribute to the purse fund, though that amount would be based on a vote of the board.

In order to keep purses on par with 2016, the proposal calls for Finger Lakes to decrease racing days from 155 to 145, though it designates a requirement of eight races per day from April through November.

Three of the four parties are on board with the proposal, said a state official, but the horsemen's group has not yet approved.

“All parties would reconvene in August 2017 and 2018 in the Governor's office to evaluate any actual impact of del Lago's operation on the racetrack's operation.  For 2019 and beyond, officials would then have two years' worth of data to help identify a longer-term solution for the track,” read a statement from Cuomo's Gaming Commission.


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