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Batavia Downs Remains Shuttered after NY Bill Fails

27 June 2000

NEW YORK - June 27, 2000 - (Press Release) A bill that would have permitted Western OTB to operate a live racing meet died as the New York State legislature adjourned for the summer.

The defeat means that plans to re-open Batavia Downs, now owned by Western OTB, are again on hold. The measure was opposed by Finger Lakes Racetrack, a thoroughbred track, other tracks in the state, as well as by members of the legislature not friendly to the OTB corporations.

A provision to transfer approximately $300,000 in the Batavia Downs purse fund to Buffalo Raceway, did, however, pass.

Another bill, designed to make it more difficult for track owner Frank Stronach to build a new track in Western New York, also lobbied for by Finger Lakes, went nowhere before the legislative session ended. Bills that would have granted some Standardbred tracks the right to offer video lottery terminals and given OTB the right to offer nighttime Thoroughbred simulcasts also did not gain approval.

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