With one month remaining, 2022 is shaping up to be another record year for Batavia Downs Gaming as actual earnings are well ahead of management’s expectations.
Speaking this morning following Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.’s board meeting at the Park Road facility, Chief Financial Officer Jacquelyne Leach said the outlook for distributions to the public benefit company’s 17 municipalities is extremely positive.
“Combined earnings and surcharges could very well be anywhere between $8.5 million and $9 million in distributions this year,” Leach said. “It’s a record year.”
That number represents a difference of more than $3 million from what Leach and WROTB officers projected in their 2022 operating plan. She said their conservative “budget” was crafted after taking several factors into consideration.
“Well, we looked a couple things,” she said. “On the pari-mutuel (harness horse racing) side was the (potential) impact of sports betting being legalized in New York State. And on the other side, the gaming side, we had the Park Road (Reconstruction) Project and we didn’t know the effects of the road being torn up.”
Leach also said management wasn’t sure if COVID-19 would rear its ugly head again.
Looking ahead, the 2023 operating plan is calling for $6 million in revenue distribution to the municipalities — $5,381,976 in operating earnings and $618,734 generated from surcharge.
“For 2023, we have factored in additional decrease in our pari-mutuel wagering. That’s part of it,” she said. “Also, because of the volume of business we’re experiencing here at Batavia Downs, we need additional workforce to handle the increased volume.”
She said next year’s plan – which she considers “a fluid and working document” – does not call for any OTB branch closures but, conversely, includes the addition of four E-Z Bet locations.
When it was mentioned that actual figures could exceed projections in 2023 as well, Leach said, “That’s what we’re going to try to do.”
Leach reported that $54,370 will be distributed to municipalities, including Genesee County, from October’s activity.