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Batavia Downs Won't Open for Summer

1 June 2004

NEW YORK – As reported by "Batavia Downs, believed to be the nation's oldest nighttime Standardbred track, will not open for racing this summer because of dwindling revenue and an inability to get financing for its racino operation, track officials said.

"Officials said more than 100 track jobs will be directly affected, and hundreds of others, from horsemen to farmers, will feel the pinch by the failure of the track, owned by Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., to begin racing Aug. 1.

"Western OTB lost nearly $4 million, much of it from the drain by Batavia Downs, an ailing track when the corporation purchased it nearly six years ago. Officials had been banking on video lottery terminals, but a bank, worried the loan might not be repaid, set many contingencies, including a requirement that horsemen guarantee the loan…"

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