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Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 6:59 am

Students selected to participate in 2102 Batavia Downs Scholarship Race

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Press release:

Batavia Downs officials have announced the names of the five students selected by their high schools to participate in the 2012 college scholarship race.

They are: Lindsay Hilburger -- Notre Dame of Batavia; Sonia Nevinger -- Alexander; Jessica Levins -- Batavia; Jamie Marshall -- Elba; and Leanne King -- Pembroke.

The race will be held on Sept. 15, between the fifth and sixth live harness races at Batavia Downs. Approximate post time for the scholarship race is 7:45 p.m.

A total of $7,500 in college scholarship funds will be given to each high school student in the dash for cash. The race will be conducted at one mile -- two laps around Batavia Downs' historic half-mile oval.

“We're thrilled to provide additional scholarship funds to area high school students,” said Todd Haight, general manager of Batavia Downs. “This coincides with the contributions made daily by Batavia Downs Casino to the New York state lottery for education.”

All students are required to practice at least five times during the month of August with the driver/trainer they will be teamed up with. This exposes the student to the full equine experience associated with the racing industry.

Scholarship breakdowns are as follows: $3,000 to the winner; $2,000 for second; $1,200 for third; $800 for fourth; and $500 for fifth. Scholarships are not equine specific and can be used for any higher education.

The event is a partnership of Batavia Downs Casino, Buffalo Raceway, Harness Horse Breeders of New York and the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association.

The 66th season at America’s oldest lighted harness track gets under way on July 23 with a new post time of 6:25 p.m.

Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Photos: Sneak peek at new Batavia Downs signs

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business, photos

Officials with Western Regional OTB, Batavia Downs and invited guests were in Rochester today for a ribbon cutting and unveiling of the work done so far on the new marquee signs for Batavia Downs.

The work is being completed by Premier Sign Systems.

Ryan Hasenauer, director of marketing for Batavia Downs, provided the pictures.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Batavia Downs announces online bets for harness racing

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, sports

Press release:

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation, owner of Batavia Downs Casino, has today announced a strategic partnership of services with Saratoga Casino and Raceway and ebet Technologies, LLC. Subject to approval of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, these two prominent New York State racing entities will be partnering in the launch of the new advance deposit internet wagering platform, www.BataviaBets.com.

“We felt very strongly that we should partner with a proven organization within New York State such as Saratoga,” said Michael Kane, CEO of Western OTB/ Batavia Downs. “This will work towards the betterment of wagering for our customers and be a great example on how we can work together within New York State to strengthen the horse-racing industry.”

Kane also added that support was acquired for SaratogaBets because of the platform’s proven success.

Western OTB’s unprecedented alliance with Saratoga Casino and Raceway is part of an effort amongst New York State racing entities to work together to create cost-effective revenue opportunities in today’s highly competitive pari-mutuel environment.

“We have experienced great success with www.SaratogaBets.com, our advance deposit wagering platform,” said Jamie Hartman, COO and executive vice president of Saratoga Casino and Raceway. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with eBet and Batavia Downs to institute this exciting wagering option in Western New York and to further promote increased support and interest in New York racing.”

BataviaBets is a free service allowing customers who sign up for an account to wager on pari-mutuel events via the internet in addition to wagering via the telephone. Focused on servicing local residents and guests who support Batavia Downs and the Western Regional OTB network, this convenient option gives access to customers who would like to place a wager, watch the races, or check results.

“We are excited to work with an organization like Batavia Downs to extend their brand while maintaining access and control of their customer base,” said Mark Gregory, chairman of eBet. "We’re focused on delivering new channels and incremental revenues for regional racetracks like Batavia.”

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Wagering at Batavia Downs on Belmont Stakes was third-best ever

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, horseracing, sports

Press release:

Officials at Western Regional Off-Track Betting (WROTB), the owner of Batavia Downs Casino, announced today wagering handle on the Belmont Stakes was the public benefit corporation’s third-best ever totaling more than $856,000. This is a 12-percent increase over last year. WROTB saw a 16-percent increase on the Kentucky Derby and a 3-percent increase on the Preakness from last year.

“The anticipation leading up to the race was the best in years,” said Todd Haight, OTB’s handicapper and the GM of Batavia Downs Racetrack. “Despite I’ll Have Another‘s late scratch on Friday afternoon, the publicity surrounding the race was enough to pique the public’s interest.”

The race was won by Union Rags, who ran down Paynter in the final furlong of the race. Union Rags will race next in the Travers’ Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse on Aug. 25.

Batavia Downs in owned and operated by Western Regional Off-Track Betting, a public benefit corporation. Municipalities that own Batavia Downs Casino include the 15 counties of Western New York as well as the cities of Buffalo and Rochester. The track is also home to Batavia Downs Casino, featuring 640 video slot machines. Batavia Downs Casino is located less than one mile from Thruway Exit 48 and is open daily from 8 to 4 a.m.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Preakness Stakes wagering handle at Batavia Downs was third best ever

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports

 

Press release:

Officials at Western Regional Off-Track (WROTB), the owner of Batavia Downs Casino announced that wagering handle on the Preakness Stakes was the public benefit corporation's third best ever totaling $920,192. This represented a 3-percent increase over last year. WROTB saw a 16-percent increase on the Kentucky Derby.

It’s been 34 years since "Affirmed" won the Triple Crown in 1978, and not since "Big Brown" in 2008 has there been a horse that has had a chance to win thoroughbred racings elusive Triple Crown. KY Derby and Preakness winner, I’ll Have Another will attempt to become only the 12th Triple Crown Winner in history.

“I’ll Have Another” has been most impressive, said Todd Haight, OTB’s handicapper and the GM of Batavia Downs Racetrack.

“Not only was he the first horse to ever win from post position 19 in the Derby, but he followed that with gutsy effort in the Preakness when he ran down favored 'Bodemeister' in the final yards," Haight said. "He’s made a believer out of me.”

Western OTB expects big crowds for the 144th Belmont Stakes at its OTB branches, EZ- Bet locations and at America’s oldest lighted harness track, Batavia Downs Casino, on June 9. All OTB branches will open at 11 a.m. on Belmont Stakes Day. Advance wagering on the final jewel of the Triple Crown begins on June 8.

Details on giveaways and radio events at local OTBs and Batavia Downs Casino will be available on visit www.westernotb.com the week of the race.

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Batavia Downs Casino celebrates seventh anniversary with Preakness party

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business

Press release:

Batavia Downs Casino is marking its seventh anniversary with a weekend celebration that includes a Preakness party and prize drawings.

Batavia Downs Casino opened at 10 a.m. on May 18, 2005 with just 586 machines. Now open 20 hours a day with 640 machines on site, the facility’s growth has meant more jobs and more money given back to the counties and cities that the public benefit corporation serves. With a 27 million dollar expansion also set to start, the facility’s staff is looking forward to the future.

“We are pleased with not only where we are but also with what’s on the horizon,“ said Michael Nolan, chief operating officer of Batavia Downs Casino and Western Regional Off-Track Betting.

"As a partner in this community we’ve created jobs for this region and will look to create even more with this expansion. Our monetary distributions to the counties and cities that we serve will also increase.”

Further details can be found at bataviadownscasino.com

Monday, May 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm

More bets, more winnings at WROTB locations on Kentucky Derby Day

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business, sports

Press release:

Officials at Western Regional Off-Track (WROTB), owner of Batavia Downs Casino, announced today record handle on the 2012 Kentucky Derby and at the casino.

Through its 32 branches and 18 EZ-Bet locations, WROTB handled $1,913,108 on the Run for the Roses, a 16-percent increase over 2011, which was a record year. In addition, WROTB paid out $1.6 million in winning wagers, its most ever.

“We are very pleased with the results of the derby,” said William White, vice president of administration said. “We look forward to serving our customers' needs for the Preakness.”

“We are thrilled with the turnout for the derby,” said Todd Haight, OTB’s handicapper and the GM of Batavia Downs Racetrack. “It seems that the people of Western New York did their handicapping homework, too, as we paid out more winners than ever before.

"At the downs, people enjoyed meeting and greeting our Ambassador Thurman Thomas inside Grandstands Bar and Grille.”

Batavia Downs Casino recorded its biggest week ever with record revenues. New York State Lottery and the state education fund benefited by receiving over $520,000 when more than $12 Million in credits played were wagered through 640 slot machines.

Western OTB expects the excitement to continue with the Preakness Stakes on May 19 when "I’ll Have Another" tries to etch his name in the record books in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. All OTB branches will open at 10 a.m. on Preakness Day.

Batavia Downs in owned and operated by Western Regional Off-Track Betting, a public benefit corporation. Municipalities that own Batavia Downs Casino include: the cities of Buffalo, Batavia and Rochester, and these counties: Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Wyoming.

The track is also home to Batavia Downs Casino, featuring more than 600 video slot machines. Batavia Downs Casino is located less than one mile from Thruway Exit 48 and is open daily from 8 to 4 a.m.

Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Batavia Downs getting ready for big Kentucky Derby event

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, batavia, Batavia Downs, sports

Press release:

The staff of Western Regional Off-Track Betting & Batavia Downs Casino are going through final preparations for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby festivities at each OTB and EZ Bet Location in the Western New York Area.  Batavia Downs Casino will host a radio remote and enjoy a visit from their Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas.  Locations of OTB Branches and EZ Bets can be found at www.westernotb.com.

“Staff members will be in each branch to help those unfamiliar with horse betting pick their horses for a chance to hit a big payday, “said OTB Director of Branch Operations, Sean Schiano.  “Prize drawings for Derby shirts and glasses will go on at every OTB Branch.  We’ll also be drawing a winner for a trip to the Belmont Stakes.”

Batavia Downs Casino will host its own Derby Party with a live radio remote from WGR Sports Radio 550 AM.  “We’re thrilled to have a sports talk show live on site as we count down the minutes to the Derby” said Ryan Hasenauer, Director of Marketing. “With the added presence of our ambassador Thurman Thomas, the atmosphere here will surely be one of excitement.”

Batavia Downs in owned and operated by Western Regional Off-Track Betting, a public benefit corporation. Municipalities that own Batavia Downs Casino include: City of Buffalo, Cattaraugus County, Cayuga County, Chautauqua County, Erie County, Genesee County, Livingston County, Monroe County, Niagara County, Orleans County, Oswego County, City of Rochester, Schuyler County, Seneca County, Steuben County, Wayne County, and Wyoming County. The track is also home to Batavia Downs Casino, featuring over 600 video slot machines. Batavia Downs Casino is located less than one mile from Thruway Exit 48 and is open daily from 8AM-4AM.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 11:00 am

Batavia Downs Casino expansion approved by NYS Lottery

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business

Press release:

Batavia Downs Casino is pleased to announce that its 27 million dollar expansion has been approved by the New York State Lottery. The expansion, which is slated to begin immediately, will consist of repairs to the roof, replacement of the facility’s neon sign with an energy-efficient LED one, and most notably, the facility’s second-story gaming floor will be brought down to ground level.

The project is expected to be one of the largest construction projects in Western New York this year.

“We are pleased to begin this long-anticipated project," said Mike Kane, president of Western Regional Off-Track Betting and Batavia Downs Casino. “The construction will create jobs both during the building of our new facility and inside the casino once the expansion is completed."

Since 2005, Batavia Downs Casino has contributed more than 107 million dollars to New York State Education through the lottery and more 71 million has been distributed to the 15 counties of Western New York and the two cities of Buffalo and Rochester.

"The expansion will add about 200 machines to the gaming floor, and we expect an increase in the yearly payments given back to the citizens of New York State," Kane said.

New restaurants will also be added to the facility.

“The Thurman Thomas Sports Bar will give local sports fans a new, unique place to cheer on their favorite teams while enjoying food, drink and local musical entertainment” said Director of Marketing Ryan Hasenauer.

The Tim Horton’s currently on the second floor would be expanded once it occupies its new space on the first floor. Batavia Downs Casino’s Ambassador will have his own space on-site as well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Photos: Batavia PD looking for help in identifying subject at Batavia Downs

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, crime

Batavia PD is looking for the public's assistance in identifying the subject of this photo. It's related to an unspecified incident at Batavia Downs.

Anybody with information to share can contact Officer Marc Lawrence, mlawrence@batavianewyork.com.

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