An upstate New York harness racetrack, struggling to compete with added casino gambling in the region, is scuttling plans to open for another racing season April 21.
A New York State panel has tapped a fourth location for a full-blown casino as the state marches closer to a final set of approvals for a casino expansion.
The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity announced Sept. 1 that three primarily Standardbred tracks owned and operated by Jeff Gural--Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs--have joined as members.
With the new, $88-million Meadowlands Racetrack scheduled to open for live Standardbred racing Nov. 23, Jeff Gural understandably has a case of the jitters.
Three large areas of upstate New York are now out of the running for commercial casino development after Gov. Andrew Cuomo struck a deal with the Seneca Nation of Indians to resolve a four-year-old dispute with the state.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a deal with an upstate Native American tribe to block casino competition in return for settlement of long-standing land claim issues and the state getting a share of tribal casino's revenue.
With New York's racetrack video lottery terminal operators looking to become full-blown casino destinations, a new player in the crowded market is asking regulators for the eighth and final harness racetrack license.
Horse owners haven't lost sight of the fact there's money to be made in Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing in New York State. read blog
Officials said they are close to a deal to try to bring New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. out of bankruptcy protection, but that a final agreement is being blocked by several harness tracks in the state.
Victor Harrison has been selected to replace Stan Bowker as executive secretary of the Virginia Racing Commission.
- By Tom LaMarra
Slot machines may help purses, but in a competitive environment--even in the same state--they don't guarantee a large horse population if one New York track is any indication.
Veteran harness racing official Walter R. Bonafice, 74, died at his Vernon, NY, home on Feb. 24 following a lengthy illness.
Vernon Downs, an upstate New York Standardbred track, was licensed March 22 by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board on the condition a third party oversees racing operations.
New York's Racing and Wagering Board refused to renew the operating license for the Vernon Downs harness track on Friday.
- By Tom Precious
State regulators have denied a 2004 racing application for troubled Vernon Downs, a Standardbred racetrack in central New York. The Feb. 27 ruling by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board prohibits racing at the facility and keeps shuttered a recently completed video lottery terminal casino.
Penn National Gaming Inc. has entered into an agreement with Capital Seven to purchase all of the shares of Bangor Historic Track, a company that operates harness racing in Bangor, Maine. In conjunction with the purchase agreement, PNGI also secured an option to purchase the interests in Vernon Downs, a New York Standardbred track controlled by an affiliate of Capital Seven.
- By Tom Precious
Licensing problems have delayed, for possibly well into 2004, the opening of Vernon Downs, which was to become the first racetrack in New York with video lottery terminals. That honor will now go to Saratoga Raceway, which is scheduled to open its VLT operation in mid-January.
Mid-State Raceway key investor Shawn Scott and board chairman Hoolae Paoa, president and chief executive officer of the company's Vernon Downs, Miracle Isle Gaming Resort, and Miracle Isle video gaming facility subsidiaries, have appealed a decision by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board to deny their requests for permanent licenses.
A group of Vernon Downs shareholders filed a lawsuit Nov. 20 seeking to gain control of the upstate New York Standardbred track from Las Vegas investor Shawn Scott.
As the New York Racing Association sits on the video lottery terminal sidelines, others in New York are racing ahead with efforts to get the devices up and running, possibly by the end of the year.
Ground was broken Aug. 13 on the "Miracle Isle" gaming facility at Vernon Downs, which intends to become the first New York racetrack to have video lottery terminals in operation.
Vernon Downs, ordered to shut down Dec. 31, won a temporary reprieve Friday when a New York State Supreme Court justice in Albany granted a restraining order holding off the closing for about 30 days.
- By Tom Precious
Vernon Downs, the troubled Standardbred facility near Syracuse, New York faces an uncertain future after regulators gave an outright denial to its 2003 license.
Former Delta Downs owner Shawn Scott has received approval to take over ownership of Vernon Downs in upstate New York.
Former Delta Downs owner Shawn Scott wants to build a $25-million racetrack in New Mexico and take over a financially troubled Standardbred track in New York. Both facilities would be in line for slot machines and video lottery terminals.
In what seems to be a mini-trend in Standardbred racing, a group of horsemen will purchase Vernon Downs in upstate New York for more than $9 million pending approval by the racetrack's shareholders and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. The deal has been approved by the board of directors, track president Justice Cheney said.
The first bid by an off-track betting corporation to operate a racetrack in New York has taken a major step forward after a bill sailed through the state Assembly.
- By Tom Precious
Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. paid $2.5 million for shuttered Batavia Downs, but thus far has been unable to win legislative approval to open and operate the upstate New York Standardbred track.
The New York harness track raised some eyebrows in December when it said its primary option in the event of an emergency was to "say the Rosary," but it recently submitted a proper evacuation planand was licensed for 2001.
A dispute between the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation and harness tracks has ended.
State racing regulators have begun investigating a nasty new battle between the New York City Off Track Betting Corp. and Monticello Raceway and Vernon Downs after the big betting outfit suddenly stopped simulcasting races from the two upstate Standardbred tracks.
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