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What you need to know for 07/27/2017

Racinos eye longer hours

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Racinos eye longer hours

Visitors to New York's racetrack casinos may soon be able to gamble until the sun comes up under a p
Racinos eye longer hours
An ornamental cast iron horse greets visitors at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway.

Visitors to New York's racetrack casinos may soon be able to gamble until the sun comes up under a proposal to let racinos stay open until 6 a.m.

The measure passed the Legislature before it adjourned last week and now awaits action by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. A Cuomo spokesman said the governor is reviewing the bill. Video lottery gambling halls now must close at 4 a.m.

The longer hours are intended to help boost business at the racinos, several of which saw a drop in revenues this winter.

Taryn Duffy, spokeswoman for Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, said Friday that it's common on weekends for hundreds of people to still be on the casino floor when it closes.

"We have a good business, but our numbers are down," she said. "This is something that would be helpful to us and to the state in terms of revenue."

At least one racino is taking a wait-and-see approach. Ryan Hasenauer, director of marketing at Batavia Downs Gaming, said later closing hours would force the casino to open later in the mornings — something that might make sense on the weekends but not during the week. Batavia Downs now opens at 8 a.m.

The legislation also would let racinos increase the amount of free play credits they can give customers.

The potential changes come as racinos prepare for competition from up to four planned Las Vegas-style casinos. Applications from developers looking to win a casino license are due Monday.

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