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Western Regional Off-Track Betting which owns and operates Batavia Downs Gaming is pledging its support to Proposal 1.

The referendum -- which will be on the ballot come election day next week -- would allow for casino expansion in New York State.

“There are a couple of different reasons,” President Michael Kane said by phone to WBTA. “Number 1, our owners will benefit. The counties of Western New York that make up Western Regional Off-Track Betting and some others that don’t would all benefit financially with the passage of the proposition, that’s very straightforward. Also, the proposition and the legislation that goes along with it limits the number of gaming facilities in Western New York west of Route 14 to the existing six facilities which we think is just about perfect. And last but not least, is job creation throughout the state of New York. While there’s nothing really creating a large number of jobs here in Western New York, we think that the spin-off from this will create jobs in the future.”

Prop 1 was developed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to attract downstate tourists who would normally do their gaming in New Jersey of Connecticut to Upstate.

The measure would allow up to seven private, Las Vegas-style casinos in the Southern Tier, Catskills and Capital Region.

Supporters say it would generate millions of dollars for education and local governments, not to mention jobs. Opponents claim Prop 1 targets vulnerable people who can’t afford to succumb to frequent gambling.

This month a lawsuit that challenged the referendum’s supposedly biased wording on the ballot was tossed.

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