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Vernon To Close?

Published: June 13, 2017 7:33 pm ET

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Usually horses are the ones on the clock at the racetrack, but in the case of Vernon Downs - now it’s the racetrack that finds itself on the clock.

Precious time is ticking away for Vernon Downs – and its 300 employees - as it awaits approval by the New York State Senate for a tax relief bill.

The track’s chairman, Jeff Gural, stated the bill will need approval before June 21, otherwise the track will close.

"It appears that the legislation is tied up in larger Albany negotiations, but we are hopeful that at the end of the day the Assembly will join the Senate in passing legislation that will help Vernon Downs keep its doors open. We continue to believe that the people in Albany who have control will recognize our situation and provide the support we need to continue our investment in this region. However, every day that we remain open, we simply lose more money and are forced to begin the process of closing Vernon Downs.”

State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi responded to the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

"It's very important that we try to do what we can to save Vernon Downs because we don't want to lose the 300 jobs associated with the race track," Brindisi said. "Having said that, we also need to make sure that if we are providing additional tax benefits to Mr. Gural and the owners of Vernon Downs that they make a commitment to stay open for a very long time. We can't keep coming back to the state year after year and ask for a change in the tax structure if they can't make some kind of long term commitment to keep Vernon Downs open."

(With files from

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