Impact Of VLTs On NY Racing Examined

Published: February 16, 2017 08:06 pm EST

"I’ve said to many people that if you want to make money in [harness] racing, this is the best opportunity you’ve had in many, many years."

An article published today in the Democrat & Chronicle by Joseph Spector examines how the addition of video lottery terminals (VLTs) at racetracks have impacted the horse racing industry in New York, noting that purses at the state's seven harness tracks having tripled since 2003.

"If you and four friends had $20,000. The best thing to do is to get together, each kick in $4,000 and buy a $20,000 claimer and race it at Yonkers Racetrack," said Bob Galterio, the COO at Yonkers Raceway. "The purses are so good. You race every week."

The article also notes the horse racing industry's contribution to New York's agricultural sector, stating that it employs 32,000 people, with Tioga and Vernon Downs owner Jeff Gural quoted as saying, "It definitely saved racing; it saved the jobs."

"Without the slots or the VLTs, there would be no harness racing. It’s totally dependent on the revenue we receive from the slots," Gural said, adding, "The problem is that most of our customers are older and we have not successfully created an industry for the younger generation. So what happens when all those people die off?"

To read the complete Democrat & Chronicle article, click here.

(With files from Democrat & Chronicle)