State Budget requires Rivers Casino to Continue Payments to Saratoga Harness Owners

“A deal struck by the involved parties and included in the state budget will keep money from gaming at Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady flowing to the owners and trainers of harness racing horses at the Saratoga harness track.. .

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Rivers,” said Jeff Cantine, President of SHHA. “Our continued participation in this gaming revenue is long recognized as necessary to sustain our industry. We are very appreciative of our many supporters, as well as in particular for the efforts of Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner.”

Sarah Burger of Saratoga Springs, attorney for the horsepersons, said the new law is clearer than what governed the matter in the past, which was a provision written into the casino franchise agreement in 2013 that said a harness track within 50 miles of a casino had to receive support, because the casino was presumed to draw business away from the horse track. “The way it was written originally was not clear,” Burger said.

Rivers Casino issued a short statement Wednesday: “We are pleased that Rivers Casino has reached an agreement with the Saratoga Harness Horseperson’s Association and we wish them all the best for the upcoming racing season. We are hopeful that both businesses will soon return to pre-COVID levels.”

Read more: