‘I Am Going To Lose A Race Track’: Finger Lakes’ Future Remains Uncertain

by | 12.10.2016 | 4:55pm

As the Feb. 1 opening date for upstate New York's del Lago Casino approaches, both administrators and horsemen at nearby Finger Lakes Racetrack are increasingly nervous about their track's future. According to the Democrat & Chronicle, a report released earlier in 2016 confirmed fears that the casino would “cannibalize” its competitors, a list which includes Finger Lakes because the two entities would essentially be competing for the same wagering dollars.

“This casino down the road is going to take a lot of money from our purse account,” said David Brown, president of the Finger Lakes Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. “I am going to lose a race track here in the next two years and then it's not going to be recoverable anymore.”

While Finger Lakes horsemen have made efforts in recent months to convince the New York legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo to implement financial protections for the racetrack, efforts have not yet been successful. Gov. Cuomo indicated that he is aware of the issue during a recent visit to Rochester, and said that the New York Gaming Commission was working toward a solution.

“I'm sure we'll announce a resolution,” said Cuomo. “I don't know the timing.”

“The (2017) season is definitely in jeopardy,” said Chris Riegle, Finger Lakes president and general manager. “We can't open the season without some sort of clarity about what we are going to be doing with the purses. It can't happen. People are listening. It is a lot of jobs. It's a big economic engine for the area, for agriculture. It just needs to corrected. Now is the time to deal with it.”

Read more at the Democrat & Chronicle.

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