Track and casino pony $28M economic impact

Rome Sentinel

VERNON — Vernon Downs added more than $28.5 million to the Oneida County economy and generated nearly $22 million in revenues for the region and the state last year, according to an economic impact analysis.

The study also estimates that 553 full- and part-time jobs are supported by the entertainment venue that features a gaming parlor with video lottery terminals, hotel and harness track. Wages and salaries for employees totaled more than $8 million.

“Many residents depend on the jobs Vernon Downs’ casino and hotel provide, and we are pleased with the results of the study,” said Jeff Gural, chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, which operates Vernon Downs. “We are thankful for the success we have had and proud to be an economic asset to our community.” Additional findings from the report show that last year Vernon Downs: — Reinvested more than $1.6 million in the local economy with the purchase of goods and services, includin g construction, from businesses in Oneida County. — Accounted directly and indirectly for nearly $1.3 million in revenues for county municipalities. — Generated more than $19 million for the state, of which more than $14.6 million went toward education.

The study was done for the New York Gaming Association, of which Vernon Downs is a member, by Appleseed Inc., a New York City firm. The association, who nine members operate horse track casinos, supports enactment of a state constitution amendment to allow expanded gaming in New York.