Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tioga Downs Casino Investments Would Boost Local Economy by $27 Million, Create Over 220 Construction-related and 136 Permanent Jobs

$21.5 Million Private Investment Hinges
on Passage of Expanded Gaming in New York

New Study Shows Local Economic Benefits
of Live Table Games for Tioga County

The addition of live table games to Tioga Downs Casino would significantly increase the casino’s impact on the economy of Tioga County, with planned investments of more $21 million initially generating over 220 construction-related jobs, and expanded operations generating over $12.5 million annually in county-wide economic output and more than 250 new, local jobs. The findings came from an economic impact study released today by the New York Gaming Association which demonstrates how a Constitutional amendment authorizing live table games would help local economies.

If the Constitutional amendment authorizing live table games is approved, Tioga Downs Casino is planning to invest approximately $27 million in private funding for a new casino complex that would become a destination spot for tourism in Tioga County. The upgrades would include a new luxury hotel, improvements to racing facilities, expansion of gaming, event, recreational and meeting space as well as a parking garage.

“As the Governor has pointed out, NY already has gambling at Indian casinos and racetracks and Penn added table games to their facilities 2 years ago, so this will allow us to appeal to younger people who enjoy poker and real table games” states Jeffrey Gural, Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, (which operates Tioga Downs Casino and Racetrack.)

The independent economic impact report estimates that this investment would increase local economic output, which includes wages and salaries and the purchase of goods and services by more than $12.5million and immediately create over 220 jobs in construction and other local industries, with an additional increase of over 130 new jobs in hotel, gaming and restaurant operations once the facility is complete.Tioga Downs Casinocurrently has nearly 250employees. Based on 2011 salary and wage levels, the annual payroll for these new employees is estimated to be more than $4.4 million.

In addition to these direct jobs, the “multiplier effect” of increased casino spending would create approximately 10 additional jobs with other businesses in the County.

The casino’s enhanced business would also allow Tioga Downs Casino to increase its assistance to the racing and breeding industry, supporting additional jobs in the industry and adding more than $1million to the local economy.

The expansion of Tioga Downs Casino would also increase state and local government revenue including funding to education. According to the estimates from the report, payments to the state from the Tioga Downs Casino net win would increase by over $6 million from what it is currently contributing without live table games; and nearly $760,000 in other state taxes. The increase to local municipalities including local sales tax, hotel tax and real property tax would beover $385,000. Finally, the construction project alone would generate approximately $320,000 in one-time state income, sales and business taxes; and about $27,000 in local sales taxes.

With the addition of live table games, The nine New York Gaming Association members are planning to invest more than $1.8 billion in construction, creating more than 17,000 construction related jobs and generating over $3.3 billion in state-wide economic output and approximately $300 million in additional support for education.

Allowing our members to offer table games will attract more visitors to our facilities, keeping the $3-5 billion that is currently being spent in other states, right here in New York.

The Racetrack Casinos comprising the New York Gaming Association include:
• Batavia Downs Casino
• Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway
• Empire Resorts at Monticello Casino & Raceway
• Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack
• Hamburg Casino at Buffalo Raceway
• Resorts World Casino New York at Aqueduct Racetrack
• Saratoga Casino & Raceway
• Tioga Downs Casino
• Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel
The economic impact analysis study was conducted by Appleseed Inc., a New York City firm that specializes in providing economic and social research analysis.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rockokie Narrows Field to 14

The 2012 Rockokie Star Contest is down to 14 singers after 3 were eliminated following Thursday night's second round. The following contestants will move on to the 3rd round on Friday, March 9th at 7:00pm for 80s week. Be sure to bring your best acid wash jeans!

1. Joanna Yaegar
2. Angel Acosta
3. Bobby Neira
4. Katie Collins
5. Tory Daral
6. Mary Brown
7. Shawn Delahanty
8. Marissa Hromek
9. Dean Wheeler
10. Amanda Hungerford
11. Ashley Lux
12. Matt Smith
13. Angelica Carozzi
14. Hailey Wiggins

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rockokie Week 2 Songs

Week 2 of the Rockokie Star Contest is tonight starting at 7pm. 17 singers remain including 2011 finalists Bobby Neira and Amanda Hungerford.

The singers are judged not only by the panel of judges but by all members of the live audience. The top singers will advance to the third round of the competition on Friday, March 9th.

Here is the list of singers competing tonight in order of performance with the song they'll be singing:

1. Mariah Conrad "Black Horse & Cherry Tree"
2. Matt Smith "Chicken Fried"
3. Katie Collins "You & I"
4. Amanda Hungerford "Stuck Like Glue"
5. Dean Wheeler "Bawitaba"
6. Hailey Wiggins "Feel Like a Woman"
7. Joanna Yaegar "Rolling in the Deep"
8. Bobby Neira "Grenade"
9. Angel Acosta "Piece of My Heart"

***10-Minute Intermission***

10. Jeremy Cramer "She Talks to Angels"
11. Angelica Carozzi "Love Hurts"
12. Shawn Delahanty "Hard to Handle"
13. Marissa Hromek "Don't Stop Believing"
14. Mary Brown "Redneck Woman"
15. Tiffany Jhingoor "Bad Romance"
16. Tory Doral "Old Time Rock N Roll"
17. Ashley Lux "I Want You to Want Me"

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Also be sure to visit our YouTube page following tonight's performances for video highlights.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New York Sire Stakes 3YO Preps Added at Tioga Downs

Tioga Downs will begin its 2012 live racing season on Saturday, May 5 and some changes have been made to this season's opening schedule of races.

The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) will start in mid May this year, resulting in the late closers restricted to 3YO's offered in past seasons at Tioga being discontinued.

The concern was that with the vast majority of nominees to the series being NY-sired in past years, this change would render the 3YO closers ineffective.

In place of the Late Closing series, Tioga will offer NYSS preps for a purse of $10,000 as overnight races (no payment required), restricted to NY sired 3YO on opening weekend.

This will provide a start for those looking to put a race in their colts and fillies before the NYSS begin.

The races will be listed on the Tioga condition sheet for opening week.

Tioga will offer Late Closing series for 3-5YO of each sex and gait that are Non Winners of 5PM races or $60,000 lifetime through April 14 with two $10,000 legs and a $40,000E final.

Those races require a $400 payment due April 15 and will be raced during the month of June.

They may be accessed by visiting the Tioga Downs website.

While you're there, you may fill out the online stall application to request stabling for the 2012 racing season.

Tioga's new race paddock, located in the stable area, will be in use when the meet opens.

The new location will make racing several horses on one card far easier for horsemen.

Call Racing Secretary Jason Bluhm at (607) 699-7688 with inquiries.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tioga Downs to Offer Horsemanship Day Camp with Harness Horse Youth Foundation

The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is pleased to announce its July horsemanship camp schedule.

The HHYF and its stable of Trottingbreds will travel to Goshen Historic Track, Tioga Downs, Pocono Downs and Gaitway Farms, in addition to a holding a two-day program for the New Jersey Girl Scouts.

Space is limited and the application deadline is May 1.

Here is the complete July schedule: July 2-6, Goshen Historic Track, Goshen, N.Y., Leadership Program (Overnight Camp), Ages 14-18; July 10-14, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y., (Day Camp), Ages 12-14; July 17-21, Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., (Overnight Camp), Ages 12-14; July 24-28, Gaitway Farms, Englishtown, N.J., (Day Camp), Ages 12-14; July 30-31, New Jersey Girl Scouts.

Complete application information, in a fillable pdf format, is available at this link.

HHYF is finalizing its spring and early summer schedule and details will be released shortly.

The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people's lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials.

For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org, or call 317.867.5877.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rockokie Week 1 Results

20 contestants took to the stage in the first round of the Rockokie Star Contest.

17 of the 20 will move on to the second round on Thursday, February 23 at 7:00pm.

And remember, contestants are not only judged by the three-member judging panel, but also by the audience.

Here are the 17 singers moving on to the second round:
Joanna Yaegar
Katie Collins
Angel Acosta
Bobby Neira
Mariah Conrad
Matt Smith
Hailey Wiggins
Angelica Corozzi
Shawn Delahanty
Tiffany Jhingoor
Amanda Hungerford
Tory Doral
Marissa Hormek
Dean Wheeler
Jeremy Cramer
Ashley Lux
Mary Brown

Here are some pictures of the first round courtesy of our friends at the Owego Pennysaver:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Study: Tioga Downs Casino Creating Jobs for Tioga County

611 Jobs Supported, Added Nearly $28.5 Million to Tioga County Economy & Generated Nearly $29 Million to State and Local Revenues Annually

Tioga Downs Casino added nearly $28.5 million to the Tioga County economy and generated nearly $29 million annually in revenues for the region and the state, according to a new economic impact analysis conducted by an independent firm.

This analysis also estimates that 611 local, full and part-time jobs are supported by the Casino.

The New York Gaming Association (NYGA) released part one of the two-part report today to outline the positive economic impact gaming has had on the local economy.

A second report, which will be released in the next 2 weeks, will show projections for future regional job growth and revenues that will be generated if enhanced gaming is authorized in New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State legislature will consider passing a constitutional amendment to authorize enhanced gaming.

"New Yorkers need to have reliable jobs to be able to take care of their families and Tioga Down Casino has been able to provide those jobs to local residents," Jeff Gural, CEO and Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment said. "The more local residents we can employ, and the more money we can reinvest into our local economy the stronger our region will become."

According to estimates from the analysis, in 2011 Tioga Downs provided 611 local full and part-time jobs, with 249 of those jobs representing direct employment by the casino.

Tioga Downs Casino supported 166 jobs for racing and breeding.

Wages and salaries for employees totaled more than $7 million.

Additional findings from the report show that in 2011, Tioga Downs:
• Accounted for nearly $28.4 million in economic output for the region;
• Reinvested more than $1.6 million into the local economy with the purchase of goods and services (including construction) from businesses in Tioga County;
• Accounted directly and indirectly for nearly $602,000 in revenues for Tioga County municipalities, and;
• Generated over $27 million in State revenues, of which more than $21 million went towards education in New York State, which is the equivalent of paying the salaries of more than 303 elementary and secondary school teachers throughout New York State.

The nine Racetrack Casinos comprising the New York Gaming Association include:
• Batavia Downs Casino
• Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway
• Empire Resorts at Monticello Casino & Raceway
• Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack
• Hamburg Casino at the Fairgrounds
• Resorts World Casino New York at Aqueduct Racetrack
• Saratoga Casino & Raceway
• Tioga Downs Casino
• Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel

The New York Gaming Association members have contributed $1.96 billion to the State in 2011.

Over $830.5 million has gone to fund education in New York State which is the equivalent of paying the salaries of more than 11,900 elementary and secondary school teachers throughout New York State.

The nine Racetrack Casinos employ nearly 5,500 New Yorkers directly and have created a total of 17,400 jobs both directly and indirectly across the state.

The economic impact analysis study was conducted by Appleseed Inc., a New York City firm that specializes in providing economic and social research analysis.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Stall Applications available for Tioga & Vernon Downs

Tioga and Vernon Downs would like to let all of its horsemen know that stall applications are available for the 2012 race seasons on the Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs websites.

For the first time, both tracks' applications can be completed and submitted electronically under their respective racing tabs on their websites.

Stall applications close on March 9th, and both the Tioga & Vernon backstretches open for the 2012 race season on April 1st.

"We felt that giving our horsemen the option of filing their stall applications electronically made it more convenient and accessible to all of the horsemen that move and travel throughout the year," said VP of Racing and Simulcast, Jason M. Settlemoir.

Vernon Downs kicks off its 90-day race meet on Friday, April 27, with Tioga Downs beginning its 61-day race meet on Kentucky Derby Day – Saturday, May 5th (Both pending regulatory approval).

Tioga Downs' new paddock construction is well ahead of schedule with the continuation of unseasonably warm weather in the northeast.

The race office, commission office, and beautiful new nine-race paddock will be ready for the April 1st backstretch opening.

For more information or to fill out a 2012 stall application please click on the online stall application.