Vote backs enhanced gambling

Buffalo News

February 24, 2012

BATAVIA — The Genesee County Legislature voted Wednesday to support Batavia Downs and eight other racinos in their quest for enhanced casino gambling, which would add table games to the video lottery terminals now in use.

A resolution states that passage of a constitutional amendment to permit expanded gambling will create $94 million in construction and hundreds of jobs at the Batavia Downs Casino. Batavia installed “slots” in 2005.

Since 1998, Batavia Downs has been owned by Western Regional Off-Track Betting, a public benefit corporation with sites in 15 counties and the cities of Buffalo and Rochester. Since it was formed in 1973, the corporation has generated more than $209 million, which is shared by the state, the tracks and OTB municipal members. From its headquarters in Batavia, the corporation operates about 30 betting parlors in its area, and it restored harness racing at the Downs in 2002.