Advance Deposit Wagering Groups Team Up to Announce First-Ever New York State Handicapping Championship

SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York (August 30, 2017) – Prominent New York State advance deposit wagering (ADW) platforms SaratogaBets, BataviaBets, and EmpireCityBets, today announced that they will host the first-ever New York State Online Handicapping Championship on December 2, 2017. Along with a “not-for-profit” payout formula that will award all entry fees as prize money to the participating horseplayers, a paid seat in the 2017 NHC Championship will be the grand prize in the upcoming December 2 event. Hotel and airfare to the NHC championship on February 9 in Las Vegas will also be included in the prize package – entry fees to the tournament will be $50.

“We would like to extend our thanks to the New York Gaming Commission for approving this important aspect of our joint venture and its overall support of this collaborative effort among NY racing entities. The New York State Handicapping Championship sets our platform apart from the competition – offering 100% of the prize pool to participating horseplayers, and now a lucrative NHC seat” said John Matarazzo, Director of Racing Operations at Saratoga Casino Hotel. “Operating our daily tournaments under this not-for-profit framework ensures that we are keeping horseplayers engaged, while also contributing adequately to the racing industry as a whole.”

Together, SaratogaBets, BataviaBets, and EmpireCityBets offer daily online handicapping tournaments, 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. Along with free daily tournaments featuring the New York racing product, participating account holders will now have the opportunity to earn a paid entry to the December 2 event each week in the $25 buy-in “Winners Take All” tournaments. As always, there is a 0% rake in the tournaments and all entry fees are returned to the players as prize money.

“Operating under the guidelines set forth by the New York Gaming Commission, designed to help the NY racing industry and give more back to the horseplayer is what this tournament platform is all about“ said Robert Galterio, Vice President and COO of Empire City Casino. “We applaud the New York Gaming Commission for their support of this initiative.

Weekly and daily tournaments have been held by BataviaBets, EmpireCityBets, and SaratogaBets throughout 2017, and have awarded over $30,000 in total prize money to date. Online handicapping competition featuring both thoroughbred and harness products will continue, and interested horseplayers are encouraged to sign up for an account at their regional ADW provider to participate.
“Bringing online tournaments back to the racing entities is an important part of remaining viable in this industry moving forward” said Henry Wojtacek, President of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation and Batavia Downs. “New York is on the right path with their mandated 0% rake formula – we applaud the New York Gaming Commission for their support of the racing industry and this important coalition.”

Saratoga Casino Hotel, located on Crescent Avenue in Saratoga Springs, NY, features over 1,700 slots, electronic table games, Vapor, two full-service restaurants with buffets, a casual dining restaurant, three full-service bars, deli and a variety of guest services including valet parking and coat check. The all-new 117-room luxury hotel featuring Morton’s® The Steakhouse will be opening this summer. Reservations are available now at Operating hours for the gaming facility are 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. every day. Simulcast races can be viewed seven days a week and live harness racing runs March through mid-December. For a full racing schedule and additional information, please visit or call 800-727-2990. Must be 18 years of age or older to play video gaming machines or wager on horses. Please play responsibly.

Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway features: 5,310 slot machines, electronic roulette and video craps, dining in the Empire Terrace Restaurant, which overlooks the track for live harness racing, and Nonno’s Trattoria for Italian cuisine, as well as a quick bite at the International Food Court and its wide ranging menu. The multi-faceted Good Time Room is available for parties, benefits, weddings, and major events for up to 500.

Conveniently located off NYS Thruway Exit 48, America’s Oldest Lighted Harness Track, Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel is owned and operated by Western Regional Off-Track Betting, a public benefit corporation. Municipalities that own Batavia Downs Gaming include: City of Buffalo, Cattaraugus County, Cayuga County, Chautauqua County, Erie County, Genesee County, Livingston County, Monroe County, Niagara County, Orleans County, Oswego County, City of Rochester, Schuyler County, Seneca County, Steuben County, Wayne County, and Wyoming County. For additional information, please visit or call 800-724-2000. Must be 18 years of age or older to play video gaming machines or wager on horses. Please play responsibly.

Media Contact:
Alex Savage
(518) 583-5743


Win photos can be purchased race nights at the photographer's booth in the lower clubhouse, or by calling 518-681-9351.

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