Tuesday, December 18, 2012

American Racing and Entertainment donates more than $700,000 to charities in 2012

American Racing and Entertainment, which runs Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs in Upstate New York, proudly announced today that total contributions to charities in 2012 reached in excess of $700,000.

A few of the highlights for charitable donations in 2012 included concerts at both properties where all ticket proceeds benefited local veterans groups around the area. Tioga Downs was able to raise more than $39,000 for Veterans in the local area from the Oak Ridge Boys concert proceeds, while Vernon Downs raised more than $36,000 from their America Concert.

Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, and Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, together donated $200,000 to aid in the Hurricane Sandy relief effort in New York and New Jersey.

Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, also donated 2,300 tickets to the Bruce Springsteen concert held at Vernon Downs in August to the USO. The tickets, which were valued at over $200,000 were distributed to soldiers at Fort Drum in the New York National Guard and Coast Guard. The donation was the largest, personal one time donation to the USO in the last 15 years.  

"Giving back to the surrounding communities is one of our main focuses for Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. We host benefit concerts every year to support our veterans, which I believe are often unappreciated for their efforts to all of us Americans. I am also proud of our customers, employees, and our company for being able to help raise $100,000 per property to aid in the Hurricane Sandy relief effort and help those families impacted by the destruction," said Jeff Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tioga Downs and its employees make donation to United Way

Tioga Downs is pleased to announce that it has recently made a $20,244 donation to the United Way to assist area organizations this holiday season.

The amount includes donations from Tioga Downs employees that were matched dollar-for-dollar by the company and a personal $5,000 contribution from Chairman Jeffrey Gural.

"I'm so proud of the employees of this company for opening up their hearts and their wallets this holiday season to help such a worthy organization," said Tioga Downs campaign spokesman Jason Hall. "Being a positive member of the community is a founding principle of this company and this donation is one way that we can give back."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tioga Downs Casino And Vernon Downs Casino Donate $200,000 To The American Red Cross For New York City Hurricane Sandy Victims

Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment Jeff Gural, Tioga Downs Casino, and Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel are pleased to announce that they are donating $200,000 to the American Red Cross in aid of victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York City. 

Between Sunday, November 11 and Sunday, November 18, patrons who donated $5 Sunday through Thursday, and those who donated $10 on Friday and Saturday, received a free buffet in Tioga Downs' County Fair Buffet. Patrons were also encouraged to donate additional funds above $5 and $10, with the total amount generously matched by Jeff Gural.

Through these means, as well as with donations from employees, Tioga Downs donated $31,000 and Vernon Downs amassed a total of $28,000. These amounts, with the help of Jeff Gural's matching and personal donations, met the combined donation goal of $200,000. 

According to Mr. Gural, "Our areas know what it’s like to deal with the aftermath of a flood, which is evident by the generosity of our patrons in showing their support for Hurricane Sandy victims."

In addition, Meadowlands Racetrack and Gural are donating $250,000 to the American Red Cross to assist with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in New Jersey.

For more information, go to www.tiogadowns.com, or visit us on Facebook.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tioga Downs Donates Turkeys to Catholic Charities

Tioga Downs Casino donated fifty frozen turkeys to Catholic Charities of Broome County this past weekend in an effort to help them reach their overall goal of 3500 turkeys for helping those in need this Thanksgiving season.

Tioga Downs became aware of an urgent call for turkeys that Catholic Charities needed to collect within a 48 hour time period. They quickly responded with their generous donation as part of a greater community effort to fulfill the needs of 2,200 local families and to provide for other organizations putting on Thanksgiving dinners throughout our community.

According to Jeffrey Gural, Chief Executive Officer for American Racing and Entertainment, "We are very pleased to support such a worthy cause and help provide a Thanksgiving dinner for needy families."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stallion Retirement Restriction In Effect for 2013 Breeding Season

A restriction in the conditions of stakes races serviced by The Meadowlands, Tioga & Vernon Downs and Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) tracks regarding the breeding of stallions under five years of age goes into effect for mares being bred in the 2013 season. 

The restriction states that foals of 2014 sired by Stallions which were foaled in 2009 or later (four-year-olds or younger in 2013, the year of the breeding) shall not be eligible to stakes at the above tracks unless they meet the one of exemptions listed in the conditions.

This condition has been included to ensure the stars of the sport remain on the track to attract fans to racing, rather than disappear into the breeding shed.

Clarification of the restriction and/or application for a waiver are available by contacting Nick Salvi at nsalvi@tiogadowns.com or (607) 972-5500.
The condition in it's entirety may be viewed by following this link.



Friday, November 9, 2012

Buffet proceeds to benefit New York Hurricane Sandy victims

Tioga Downs Casino is announcing that they will donate all proceeds from The County Fair Buffet at their property in aid of victims of Hurricane Sandy. Between Sunday, November 11 and Sunday, November 18, Tioga Downs, in conjunction with Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel, hopes to raise $100,000 to give to the American Red Cross.

During that week, patrons who donate $5 Sunday through Thursday, and those who donate $10 on Friday and Saturday, will receive a FREE buffet. Patrons are also encouraged to donate additional funds above $5 and $10, as Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment Jeff Gural will generously match the additional donations up to $50 per person.

According to Mr. Gural, “I think everyone here knows how devastating floods can be and we hope to do our share to help our neighbors along the shore and also give our customers a bargain as well.”

The Veterans Day Program and Buffet Special previously scheduled for November 12 at Tioga Downs will be rescheduled for November 26.

For more information, go to www.tiogadowns.com, or visit us on Facebook.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Settlemoir to Become The New Meadowlands GM & CEO

New Meadowlands LLC President Jeff Gural has named Jason M. Settlemoir as General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the New Meadowlands, effective Tuesday, November 6.

Jason Settlemoir (left) with Jeff Gural
Settlemoir has run Gural's two New York racetracks, Tioga & Vernon Downs, since operations began in 2006 and will remain Vice President of Racing and Sponsorships for both of those properties. The 2006 Lew Barasch Breakthrough Award winner, he is the current USHWA Chairman of the Board, a USTA and HTA Director and the Simulcast Director/second Race Announcer for The Little Brown Jug.

"Our focus is on improving the racing experience for the fans, with emphasis on customer service and strict attention to detail," Jason explained. "Jeff's desire is to return The Meadowlands to its rightful position as the greatest harness track in the world and I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to help him realize that goal. I have the support of a strong staff we have assembled at Tioga and Vernon and look forward to working with the existing Meadowlands employees and New Jersey horsemen. After seven seasons, I know Jeff's priorities and how he wants things done at his racetracks." 

Jeff Gural had this comment on the decision; "I'm confident in Jason's ability to execute my vision for The New Meadowlands. We share a passion for racing, realize that the status quo isn't working and remain convinced that new ideas and promotions are vital to racing's survival. The success that Jason has enjoyed at Tioga and Vernon along with the experience he has gained and people skills he has developed while in that position have prepared him well for this next step in his racetrack management career." 

Settlemoir will spend the next two months cultivating the simulcast business at both The Meadowlands and Winners at Bayonne while preparing for the return of live racing at The Meadowlands on December 28. He will commute between the New York and New Jersey properties for the near future and may be reached by phone at (201) 460-4025 or (607) 699-7588 and by e-mail at jsettlemoir@tiogadowns.com.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tioga Downs Casino and Racing & NYGA: A Big Win for Southern Tier’s Economy

With 300 Workers, Tioga Downs Casino and Racing:
 One of Region's Leading Employers

New Statewide Radio Campaign Highlights Creation of
Thousands of NYGA Jobs Across New York

5,500 Work at NYGA Facilities – Another 35,000 Supported by Industry

(Nichols, NY) – Tioga Downs Casino and the New York Gaming Association (NYGA) support more than 40,000 jobs across New York State – including 5,500 direct employees and an additional 35,000 jobs in the agribusiness industry – and together added jobs in the past 12 months despite the sluggish economy. A new statewide ad campaign launching today highlights Tioga Downs Casino and NYGA's considerable track record of providing New Yorkers with good paying and reliable jobs, as well as the payments NYGA makes to New York's education, which will be equivalent to 13,000 teaching positions in 2013.

Tioga Downs Casino is already one of the region's leading employers, with nearly 300 workers.  Today, many of the region's labor and business leaders publicly joined Tioga Downs Casino in supporting these efforts.

"Since the arrival of Tioga Downs Casino not only have over 300 new jobs been created, new markets have been established to help bolster agribusiness in Tioga County and surrounding areas.  Tioga Downs also provides an outstanding venue offering entertainment and opportunity for its visitors," said Tioga County Chamber of Commerce President Martha Sauerbrey.  "An unexpected blessing has been from the strong level of community support coming out of the Tioga Downs organization.  The attitude of the leadership and the employees of Tioga Downs is one of generosity.  In the recent devastating flood of 2011, Tioga Downs came to the aid of the community with manpower, food and finances.  Tioga Downs has been a significant supporter of local community activities as well as contributing significantly to New York State education."
"The New Yorkers who work at Tioga Downs Casino have more than just good jobs; they have the ability to start a career in this industry, with excellent benefits and a reliable income to provide for their families," said James Featherstonhaugh, president of the New York Gaming Association. "We are incredibly proud of that, and all New Yorkers should know that all of NYGA’s facilities are more than just the entertainment they provide. As New York continues its recovery, we will continue to be a partner in the economy and for education."

New York's racetrack casinos are some of the leading employers in their regions, providing steady and reliable employment that includes health, dental, retirement benefits. The nine racetracks that make up the Association employ more than 5,500 New Yorkers.  Indirectly, NYGA's substantial support of New York's racing industry helps to maintain an additional 35,000 jobs in the state, including jobs in agribusinesses like family farmers and veterinarians.

NYGA members have also contributed $3.4 billion to education since 2004 – including more than $575 million so far in 2012, according to data on the New York Division of the Lottery's website - enough to fund the annual salaries of approximately 12,400 teachers.

The new radio ad campaign will be launched in eight markets, including the Southern Tier, New York City, Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester.

New York Gaming Association members currently employ more than 5,500 New Yorkers and have, over their history, generated $3.4 billion for education, more than $170 million in aid for local governments and $715 million in support of the New York State racing & breeding industry, impacting family farms and preserving open space.
The New York Gaming Association is comprised of the nine racetrack casinos located at harness and thoroughbred racing venues throughout the state. NYGA members include; Resorts World Casino New York at Aqueduct Racetrack, Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, Saratoga Casino & Raceway, Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack, Empire Resorts/Monticello Casino & Raceway, Hamburg Casino at Buffalo Raceway, Tioga Downs Casino, Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel and Batavia Downs Casino. 
More information on the New York Gaming Association is available at www.newyorkgaming.org

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Tioga Downs saw an increase in live wagering handle and export handle during its recently concluded live racing season.

The live wagering handle (money wagered on-track on live races) increased by 2.5 percent while the export handle (money wagered on live races at off-track facilities) increased by 3 percent.

"We are very pleased with these positive business results and believe they reflect our continued commitment to a high quality live racing product," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing and Simulcast. "We believe our aggressive marketing and promotion has been well received by our on-track guests and our lucrative stakes schedule and competitive overnight racing positions us well in the simulcast market."

The seventh season of live racing at Tioga Downs ended on a high note with more than 4,000 fans in attendance on Closing Night.

One of those fans, Pennie Merrick of nearby Chenango Forks, drove off in a 2012 Toyota Yaris as the grand prize winner of the season long Horseplay Car Giveaway. The promotion raised more than $7,000 for local charities.

"Justin Horowitz took over our marketing and promotions department in the middle of the season and far exceeded my expectations," said Settlemoir. "It's a very demanding position under any circumstances and he contributed to our successful 2012 racing season."

Another highlight during the final stretch of the season included Dynamic Youth's thrilling photo finish victory in the Cane Pace, opening leg of Pacing's Triple Crown. The historic race was held at Tioga Downs for the first time.

Jimmy Marohn, Jr. was the meet's leading driver for the second time while the nation's leading trainer, Ron Burke, topped the Tioga Downs trainer's standings for the first time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


The racing season came to a close over the weekend at Tioga Downs with a large, enthusiastic crowd and surprise appearances by top horses Check Me Out and Hypnotic Blue Chip.

"Inside Harness Racing" recaps those races and counts down the top 10 races of the year at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs on the season finale episode. The show airs today (Wednesday) at 6:00 PM and again at 10:30 PM on Time Warner Cable Sports throughout Upstate New York. It'll also be replayed tomorrow (Thursday) at 10:00 PM. Viewers can also watch this episode online at the Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/tiogadowns).

Host Justin Horowitz also sits down with Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs Vice President of Racing Jason Settlemoir to discuss the season's business figures and thoughts on the current state of the harness racing industry.