Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) announced today that an agreement was reached on legislation to help keep Tioga Downs open. Lupardo co-sponsored the bill (A.9998) which passed both the Assembly and Senate today. The agreement, which includes an increase in vendor fees, funds for capital improvements and a larger allowance for marketing of the racinos, will be delivered to Governor Eliot Spitzer for his consideration.
“Tioga Downs is both an important tourist attraction and employer here in the Southern Tier,” said Lupardo, a co-sponsor of the bill. “This agreement will not only help keep the doors open at Tioga Downs, but work towards improving racinos across the state while protecting an important source of our education funds.”
Under the agreement the amount each racetrack receives from the video lottery terminal (VLT) revenue, known as vendor fees, will increase from 32 percent to 40 percent for the first $50 million of VLT revenue, 29 percent for the second $50 million of VLT revenue and 26 percent for the third $50 million of VLT revenue. In addition to the increased vendor fees, the agreement will also increase each racino’s marketing allowance from 8 percent to 10 percent, which will allow racinos to increase advertisements and other promotions to help increase attendance. Finally, the agreement includes a capital improvement fund under which Tioga Downs would get the lesser of either $2.5 million or 4 percent of the VLT revenues as part of a five year program.