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Change Of Plans In NYS Racino Push

Published: January 19, 2011 12:13 pm ET

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It has been reported that Thomas C. Wilmot, Sr., the driving force behind the push to erect a new racino in New York State, has backed away from his desire to renovate the Syracuse Mile and get an alternative-gaming expansion in place.

An article published last week by syracuse.com cites Wilmot as saying that he has dropped plans to renovate and use the state fair’s racetrack and grandstand.

The report goes on to explain that instead of the Syracuse Mile location, Wilmot is looking at one site “near the fairgrounds” and a second elsewhere in the county. He said the land under consideration is held by private owners, the county and the town of Geddes. The article explains that Wilmot visited Geddes last week to meet privately with town officials.

The article also touches on the fact that Vernon Downs owner/operator Jeff Gural, who was on board with Wilmot's Syracuse Mile proposal, is concerned that the new location being discussed could be a death sentence for his Vernon facility.

“It would put Vernon Downs out of business,” Gural was quoted as saying. The report indicated that he does not think state officials will award another racino license if it siphons money from existing raceways, like Vernon

Gural had previously been quoted as saying, "If we’re not part of the deal, I would oppose it."

The proposed racino project would require state officials to award the eighth and final harness racing license.

(With files from syracuse.com)

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