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Monticello Gaming Area To Close

Published: January 23, 2019 12:13 pm ET

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The casino gaming section at Monticello Raceway is expected to close its doors for good sometime this spring. Live Standardbred racing is expected to continue at the half-mile oval, although, according to a published report, the future of live harness racing at the facility is very much in doubt.

News of the Monticello situation comes courtesy of an article by the Times Herald-Record. The piece states that, according to a January 22 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Empire Resorts is planning on shutting down the electronic gaming operation at the track at some point in April.

A horseman and Standardbred go for a jog over Monticello Raceway

The article goes on to explain that the 160 employees that work in Monticello’s gaming area will have to ability to work at the nearby Resorts World Catskills Casino, which is also owned by Empire Resorts.

According to the Times Herald-Record, Empire has conveyed that live horse racing will continue at Monticello, ‘but, in a written statement and in an SEC filing, it made no guarantees about the track’s long-term future.’

When Resorts World Catskills opened with its casino less than one year ago, Empire Resorts senior executive stated that the new development -- that is located 10 minutes and roughly six miles from Monticello Raceway -- would have no impact on those operations and both would continue.

“We think of it as a business that will still be active and vibrant,” said Charlie Degliomini, executive vice president of Empire Resorts of Monticello, noting that the expanded gaming and entertainment options would be maintained. “We definitely wanted to keep it open...there’s still jobs there.”

Live racing at Monticello employs roughly 40 workers directly, but is surely the main source of income for the horsepeople that race at the track and the multiple associated equine and agricultural industries that it also supports.

(With files from the Times Herald-Record)

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