According to the Daily Racing Form, Delaware North the owner of Finger Lakes Race Track in Canandaigua, New York is suing New York State to bar awarding one of four casino licenses available in New York. My question is what took so long?
When the siting committee made its announcement of the proposed casino locations one of the announced factors was whether an applicant would cannibalize another existing casino location. This was the logic used in denying a casino to Orange County. So it naturally made sense that when the siting committee arrived at the selection for the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes region, that the selection would go to the Binghamton area rather than the Tyre location of Thomas Wilmot. However, you can never handicap a political race until that decision is announced. Tyre was awarded the casino.
Interestingly, Tyre was the one area the missed all the marks set forth by the siting committee. The citizens of the town don’t support the location, as many of the citizens of the area are Amish and they are against gambling. More importantly with respect to Finger Lakes, Turning Stone and Vernon Downs, the siting committee’s devotion to existing facilities must not have travelled Upstate because the new casino location would be smack in the middle between Finger Lakes, Vernon Downs and Turning Stone, three existing facilities.
Clearly the fact that Tyre is 35 miles from Finger Lakes makes this a direct competitor with the racino. This is a true negative for those horse racing fans, breeders, owners, trainers and jockeys who plie their trade at the Thumb. Finger Lakes has to anticipate taking a large hit both in attendance and handle. The issue with Vernon Downs and Turning Stone is that those two facilities will not only be hurt by people from the west who would drive out on the Thruway but also those coming from the East due to the Schenectady Casino.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in Court.