On Saturday, the Wester OTB location on State Route 5&20 in Seneca Falls will close.
Richard Ricci, who represents Seneca County on the Western OTB board of directors, addressed the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to quell concerns around that closure in Seneca Falls.
He noted that the Seneca Falls location had lost just about $300,000 in a little less than three years. A combination, which led to those Western Region officials closing this particular location.
He noted that one of the reasons why the board decided to keep the Seneca Falls location open as long as they did, was due to the support for the longtime employees at the location.
“This isn’t the last closure that’s going to happen,” Ricci explained. He noted that the closures and loss of revenue at locations like Seneca Falls were due to a combination of less interest in horse racing, as well as the increase in online gaming.
He also noted that the move was a predictive one, as the region expects to see a six percent loss when del Lago Resort & Casino opens up in Tyre.
Ricci said that he remains a staunch supporter of the del Lago operation, though.
“Even with the six percent decrease in overall revenue, Seneca County will actually see an increase of more than $9,000 in their yearly take from the agreement,” Ricci explained.
He said that they were now seeking out restaurants and bars interested in housing electronic machines, which would allow for bets to be placed on races around the country anytime. Ricci said they were in contact with Dewey’s Third Ward Tavern in Seneca Falls to house some machines.
Ricci reported that those two employees, who had nearly 50 years of combined time in with OTB had been placed in jobs at the soon-to-open del Lago Resort & Casino. It was another reason why Western Region officials felt comfortable with the closure.
The region will see another four closure in the coming months. However, the specifics were not detailed.