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Online handicapping contests to continue in NY

June 22, 2016

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Prominent New York State advance deposit wagering (ADW) platforms BataviaBets, EmpireCityBets, and SaratogaBets, citing positive handle trends and player feedback, announced that they will continue to offer legal online handicapping contests. Fully approved and regulated by the New York State Gaming Commission, members of the joint promotional initiative have all agreed to extended terms to offer the online contests for an additional calendar year.

"We are pleased that our initiative with Saratoga and Empire City will continue. This partnership, related to both the technical aspects of the contests as well as the shared prize pool structuring, is like none other in the racing industry" said Mike Kane, President of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation and Batavia Downs. "This innovative format places players from three ADW groups into the same contest pools - we have the opportunity to share resources, while also implementing a marketable component to attract and retain players."

BataviaBets, EmpireCityBets, and SaratogaBets have been operating collaboratively since late 2015 to offer free, weekly online handicapping contests that are accessible for account holders at their respective ADW websites. Players only need an active ADW (live wagers placed) account on the day of the contest to compete, and New York State horseplayers compete head-to-head in the same contest pools. A $750 weekly prize is awarded, with each ADW platform currently contributing $250 to the prize pool.

"New York's ADW operators face an uphill battle in this industry, and sharing resources to ensure players remain loyal and engaged is critically important," said Robert Galterio, General Manager of Empire City Casino . "We applaud the New York Gaming Commission for their support of this initiative."

Contests held by BataviaBets, EmpireCityBets, and SaratogaBets have been held weekly throughout 2016, and have awarded over $15,000 in total prize money to date. Online handicapping competition featuring both thoroughbred and harness products will continue every week, and interested New York horseplayers are encouraged to sign up for an account at their regional ADW provider to participate.

"We are pleased that our partnership will continue with the New York ADW affiliates, in the best interest of New York racing, and the industry as a whole" said John Matarazzo, Director of Racing Operations at Saratoga Casino Hotel. "We're also looking forward to expanding on the contest formats, prizes, and ADW participation in the coming months."

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