|Farmington, NY – March
2017 / Newsmaker Alert / Finger
Lakes Gaming & Racetrack (FLGR) and Finger Lakes Horsemen’s Benevolent
Protective Association (FLHBPA) officials announced this morning that terms
to the 2017 racing season have been agreed upon, thus ending several months
of negotiations and paving the way for preparations toward the 56th consecutive
season of thoroughbred racing at the Farmington oval to begin. Plans call
for the season to open on Saturday, April 22, with a 145-day season that
would extend through November 28.
“We are pleased to have come to an agreement that sets the wheels in motion for racing to continue at Finger Lakes this spring,” said Chris Riegle, president and general manager of Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack. “All parties involved worked hard and productively over a long period of time toward a reasonable solution that most importantly provides assurance for close to 1,000 people who depend directly on the local racing industry for their livelihood.”
The agreement was in flux mainly due to the opening of del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County and determining how to best account for the anticipated resulting significant drop in available funds for purse money at Finger Lakes. By statute, 8.75% of gaming revenue at Finger Lakes supports racing purses. How to best account for that shortfall and conduct a racing season that all parties could agree upon was at issue. As part of the agreement, Finger Lakes will contribute a minimum of an additional $600,000 and up to $1 Million toward funding of purses, depending on the impact to its gaming revenue this year.
“We also must recognize and thank the governor and his staff, the New York State Gaming Commission, New York Thoroughbred Breeders, as well as State Senator’s Pam Helming and Rich Funke and State Assemblyman Brian Kolb for their efforts in bringing this to a successful conclusion. Their recognition of the vital role that the thoroughbred racing industry plays within the regional and statewide economy was of great importance as we worked our way through these discussions,” Riegle said.
The local positive economic impact of racing operations at Finger Lakes is estimated at $80 million annually.
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