An agreement has been reached between Finger Lakes Race Track and the Western Regional OTB to open a Finger Lakes Special Betting District in the western New York area. The deal, contingent upon Western Regional OTB obtaining an operating license from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board to re-open Batavia Downs, will aid the expansion of simulcast wagering at Finger Lakes and local OTB parlors. Both sides have been working on a deal since Finger Lakes approached Western with the proposal in March 2000.
Under the terms of the agreement, Finger Lakes will be able to offer both live racing and simulcast wagering on whichever New York Racing Association (NYRA) track is running and on out of state Thoroughbred tracks. Western OTB will now be authorized to carry similar products at all of the 20 local OTB parlors within the special Finger Lakes Special Betting District.
Presently, Finger Lakes does not offer any simulcasting of additional racetracks during its live races and local OTB parlors are only permitted to offer wagering on Finger Lakes races whenever they are running live.
The Finger Lakes Special Betting District, which includes OTB locations within an approximate 50-mile radius of Finger Lakes, was originally created by the state to protect the Finger Lakes on-track market upon the introduction of OTB sites in the early 1970s.