Senate Racing Committee to Hold Hearing Monday

John J. Bonacic

February 4, 2011

State Senator John J. Bonacic, Chairman of the Senate Racing Committee, Wagering & Gaming today described his goals for Monday’s Committee hearing on the future of racing, wagering and gaming in New York.

“I am looking forward to hearing what those who are most hands-on with the racing industry have to say about the sport’s future in New York,” Senator Bonacic said.

Senator Bonacic was named Chairman of the Racing, Wagering & Gaming Committee last month, after serving two years as the Ranking Minority Member of that Committee.  “I believe our former Chairman, Eric Adams, made a good start in opening up the dialogue with the racing industry to try and develop solutions to some of the sports’ problems, and to retain what is working with the sport.  We hope to take his work and build on it and develop legislation to resolve some of the issues we have learned about,” Senator Bonacic said.

Senator Bonacic has asked those who will address the Committee to speak on several issues, including:

*          Their ideal model for managing wagers made off track;

*          The desirability of limiting out-of-State Advanced Deposit wagering entities from accepting bets from New York State residents on New York State races;

*         Whether New York’s gaming market is over-saturated;

*         Whether dark day payment and maintenance of effort payments should be eliminated;

*         A potential formation of a new LLC to operate all wagering in New York State (or if not all, all except particular portions the witness thinks should remain independent);

*         Ways to attract racing fan development both on-track and elsewhere;

*         How to consolidate off-track betting parlors;

*         How to encourage capital investment at harness tracks;

*         The witnesses’ ideas to better the sport of racing in New York;

*         The proposed interstate racing compact.

The tentative list of witnesses expected to testify in person includes Michael Amo, Chairman of the Board of the Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association based out of Saratoga; Michael Speller, President of Resorts World New York; Charles Hayward, President and  CEO of NYRA; representatives of several OTB Corporations including Donald Groth of Catskill OTB, John Signor of Capital OTB, Arthur Walsh of Nassau OTB; Joseph D’Amato of Empire Resorts; Joseph Faraldo of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York; Richard Violette, Jr. of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Inc. and Jeffrey Cannizzo of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders.

All members of the Senate Racing Committee were solicited to suggest those who should testify.  

“We have a cross section of fans, breeders, horsemen, and track representatives who I am hoping can specifically address the points we are seeking input on, as well as offer any other ideas to better the racing and gaming industry as a whole in New York,” concluded Senator Bonacic.


New York State

Senate Committee on Racing, Wagering & Gaming

Witness List in Speaking Order (subject to revision)

The Future of Racing, Wagering & Gaming in New York State

February 7, 2011

10:30 AM

Allotted Time for Each Speaker:  10 Minutes plus time for any questions from Members of the Senate


Michael Speller, President

Resorts World  New York


Charles Hayward, President & CEO

The New York Racing Association, Inc.

Michael Amo, Chairman, Board of Directors

Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association, Inc.


Donald Groth, President & CEO

Catskill Off-Track Betting Corporation


John Signor, President  & CEO

Capital District Regional Off Track Betting


Arthur T. Walsh. General Counsel

Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation


Joseph  D’Amato,  Chief Executive Officer

Charles Degliomini, Executive Vice-President

Empire Resorts


Phil Palermo, Senior Director of Operations

Finger Lakes Race Track


Joseph Faraldo, President

Standardbred Owners Association of NY


Jeffrey Cannizzo, Executive Director

NY Thoroughbred Breeders


Richard Violette, Jr., President

New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Inc.


Written Testimony and Other Communications Received or Anticipated:

The City of Saratoga Springs – Resolution

Finger Lakes Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, Inc.