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Delaware North Cos. No Longer Involve With Saratoga Gaming and Raceway

On April 6th, 2009, the Delaware North Cos. Incorporated in no longer managing the Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, which is considered the busiest attraction in Delaware's Capital Region. Delaware North's 5-year contract to operate the video slots and food business at the harness racing track ended on January 28th, 2009.

The owner of the establishment, Saratoga Harness Racing Incorporated, had a mutual agreement with Delaware North from Buffalo that the contract would not be extended, according to Rita Cox, the vice president of sales and marketing. Cox said that this is nothing that was not anticipated by either side and in no way means any negativity. She added that they still work together with Delaware North on different levels. Delaware North manages racinos at Hamburg Fairgrounds and Finger Lakes.

The organization was hired in January 2004 to guide the harness racing track through the transition from a location that attracts less players to a bustling establishment that now offer 1,700 video lottery machines, two eating establishments and a night club. Saratoga Gaming and Raceway had two million visitors last year, making it the busiest tourist destination in the region. Cox said that of the tens of millions of dollars placed on video slot machines, players lost a total of $123 million during the first eleven months of the 2008-2009 state fiscal year, compared to $121 million last year.

Cox added that visitors would not notice any significant difference now that Delaware North no longer operates the facility. Only one person on location was employed by Delaware North, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jamie Hartmann. Hartmann still holds that position but works for the property owner, Saratoga Harness Racing Incorporated. The terms of the agreement between Delaware North and Saratoga Harness Racing were confidential but the harness track owners can keep more of the profit without a 3rd party management contract.

The companies continue to collaborate together on other venues. Delaware North operates Gideon Putnam Resort in the Saratoga Spa State Park. The 120 room hotel has been utilized in marketing promotions for the facility. Saratoga Harness and Racing and Delaware North are also business partners in the Aqueduct Gaming LLC, which wants to place video lottery machines at the Aqueduct racing track in Queens. The long-delayed gaming project encountered another problem when Delaware North told the state it could not fulfill a March 31st, 2009 deadline to pay $370 million in franchise fees because of the state of the credit markets. Delaware North asked for more time to accomplish the payment but Governor David Paterson decided to seek new bids for the racino.


Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Marissa Patterson