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Vernon Downs to begin spectator-less races on June 1

The Governor's office announced that horse racing can begin without spectators on June 1st. The Governor's office plans on sending detailed regulations to places like Vernon Downs within the next week.

Posted: May 17, 2020 7:07 PM
Updated: May 18, 2020 3:03 PM

VERNON, N.Y. --- The Governor's office announced that horse racing can begin without spectators on June 1st. The Governor's office plans on sending detailed regulations to places like Vernon Downs within the next week.

Chairman of American Racing, the company that owns Vernon Downs, Jefferey Gural said he has been in contact with the Governor's office leading up to the decision.

"I've been talking with his office for the last two weeks or so to try and convince them that this is safe. People come to work every day to jog, train, and feed the horses. So all we are letting them do now is race the horses," said Gural.

Betting on the races will be done solely online. Those who wish to bet on the horses need to do so on their phone or computer. The races will be live-streamed from the track.  

Despite normal activities beginning to resume on the property, Gural said the company will still face financial hardships until they can fully reopen during phase 4.

"A couple of hundred thousand dollars I'm sure we'll lose each month. Because I am paying people, I have to pay people to maintain the track to maintain the barn areas," said Gural.

Gural said that the Casino's reopen plan includes social distancing guidelines. He said that would include only running every other slot machine on the casino floor

Gural said that Vernon Downs is targetting July 1st as when they will be fully operational. 

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