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Press Release:

Today, leaders from Batavia Downs Gaming and Bills Hall of Fame running back and Batavia Downs spokesman Thurman Thomas joined Niagara County leaders to present a significant community development contribution to Niagara County. 

As the only municipally owned gaming facility in the state, Batavia Downs Gaming is not only a strong economic driver for Niagara County, but it provides critical funding for community development which creates jobs, keeps Niagara County families safe and helps to offset tax increases for residents. Since its inception, Batavia Downs Gaming has generated over $215 million to 17 municipalities and nearly $20 million to Niagara County.

Leaders also highlighted that Niagara County is losing critically needed revenue because Batavia Downs Gaming pays the highest tax rate of any Western New York gaming facility. If Batavia Downs Gaming corporation was taxed at the same rate as other gaming facilities in Western New York the community development contribution would have been $312,073 instead of $175,492.

“We are proud to have such an important role in helping grow Niagara County and ensure our law enforcement officials have the tools they need to keep us safe,” said Henry F. Wojtaszek, President/CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming WROTB. “In fact, we want to increase our impact to the Niagara County community and could accomplish this if we had a level tax playing field with other Niagara County gaming facilities. We hope we can continue to increase our significant contributions to Niagara County.”

“I am grateful to be a part of an organization whose contributions can be seen and felt across Niagara County,” said Thurman Thomas, former Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills running back, Vice Chair of New York State Tourism Advisory Council and Batavia Downs Ambassador.

“I represent the scores of union employees who rely on the continued success of Batavia Downs Gaming, and we are pleased to see how our work can contribute to improving the Niagara County community,” said Lee Zarpentine, Labor Relations Representative of United Public Service Employees Union (UPSEU). 

“We welcome today’s contribution and appreciate Batavia Downs Gaming interest and record of improving our community,” said Richard E Updegrove, Niagara County Manager. “Niagara County has vested interest in the future viability of Batavia Downs Gaming and we want to see them continue to have an important impact here.”

"I'd like to thank Batavia Downs Gaming for the valuable contributions they make to communities across our region,” said State Senator Rob Ortt. “They help pay for critical local programs and government services. And I'd like to commend Batavia Downs Gaming leadership for not only guiding, but strengthening, the organization in a challenging and competitive market - to the benefit of Western New York."

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