It wouldn’t be enough.
That was the message from the Finger Lakes Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, who is tasked with protecting 1,200 people at the Farmington racetrack.
“In its present form the proposal falls short of what we feel is fair,” David Brown, president of the group told the D&C in a recent interview. “They are requiring the most sacrifice from those who can least afford it.”
The opening of del Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre was something that officials at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack had been dreading.
The proposal from Gov. Andrew Cuomo would result in an effective shortage of the season by 24 days. Losing that equivalency would cost workers $2.5 million, according to the group.
A spokesman for Finger Lakes says that they support the framework of Gov. Cuomo’s proposal, but notes that it doesn’t go far enough in current form.
The total annual purse would drop from nearly $18.5 million in 2016 to approximately $15.9 million in 2017, a decline of roughly $2.5 million, according to figures supplied in Cuomo’s plan.
His plan notes that Delaware North, operators of the FInger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack would commit between $600,000 and $1 million — while del Lago would provide $440,000 to protect purses.
New York State Sen. Rich Funke called for the state to introduce a $3 million measure, which would use taxpayer dollars to fund the difference.
“(The) racing season at Finger Lakes is still in jeopardy,” Brown told the D&C. “We will continue to work with the governor and other stakeholders to finalize an agreement.”
del Lago Resort & Casino saw solid two week performance, as they netted over $3 million in their first two filings with the state.
Local reaction to the various proposals has been mixed. While some feel strongly about Finger Lakes, and want to see it succeed in the region — others question the intent behind these measures.
Some have cited concerns regarding the sensibility of state funding for a gaming facility like Finger Lakes.
Let us know how you feel about the dynamic being created between del Lago Resort & Casino and Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack in the comments below or on Facebook.