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Vernon Downs Postpones Opening Day Of Racing

Jim Rondenelli, WIBX
Jim Rondenelli, WIBX

Vernon Downs is delaying the opening of its 2017 harness racing season due to a dispute with New York State over taxation.

Owner Jeff Gural says Vernon Downs has suffered significant financial losses due to added competition from the Yellow Brick Road, Lagos and Rivers Casinos.

He says Vernon Downs has been losing about $150,000 a month in revenue since November.  Gural says the property loses money on racing, so opening racing now only makes a bad situation worse.

Gural says they’ve requested tax relief from the state.  He’s say the property will open for racing once the relief is granted.

Gural says the racino is hopeful that locally elected officials will weigh in and convince the legislature to act quickly to help save the hundreds of jobs currently at risk.

The racing season was scheduled to open on Friday, April 21st.

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