Finger Lakes to Increase Overnight Purses 35%

Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack officials Monday announced a 35% increase in overnight purses beginning with opening day of the 2004 racing season.

The purse increase is funded through projected revenue from the newly constructed gaming floor. It will feature over 1,000 video gaming machines (VGM) and is slated to open Feb. 11.

On average, VGM's will return approximately 92 cents of every dollar wagered in the form of prizes to players. Of the remaining eight cents from each dollar wagered, the purse structure at Finger Lakes will receive 7.51%, with New York Thoroughbred breeding programs being awarded 1.25%. Finger Lakes earns 20.24% for operational expenses, while the state of New York receives the remaining 71%.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to offer this significant purse increase as of our 2004 opening day thanks to the upcoming opening of our state-of-the-art gaming facility," said Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack president and general manager Chris Riegle. "It marks the first step in bringing about a new era of racing here at Finger Lakes."

The 160-day 2004 racing season is scheduled to begin April 16 and run through November 23, pending approval of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. Post times are yet to be determined.

After opening with dates on Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, Finger Lakes will run live on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday for two weeks, before expanding to a five-day racing week with the addition of Sunday as a racing day beginning on May 2.

Wednesday and Thursday will generally feature no live racing, with Wednesday, September 8 and Thursday, September 9 being the only exceptions. Simulcasting with on-track payoffs is featured daily throughout the winter and live racing season.