Betting On VLTs

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Nov 13, 2008 at 9:41 PM EDT

During this gray economy, Tioga Downs is seeing more green.

Video Lottery Terminals are buzzing louder that other games of chance.

As Action News Reporter Jessica Light tells us, it's a payoff Racinos and the State really need.

More people are hitting the slot machines in New York state.

These beeping, blinking machines are helping bring profits up 15% for Tioga Downs Racino in Nichols.

"I think the main reason is because we are a major destination here in the Finger Lakes. We can have the entertainment here, we keep it at a reasonable cost or we keep it at no charge to the public and of course once they're here they want to try at the gaming floor." says Linn Redder, Tioga Downs Marketing Director.

The New York Lottery says Video Lottery Terminals, or VLTs have kept gambling revenue flowing into state coffers.

VLT use is on the rise as Lottery ticket sales have slowed in this faltering economy.

"Those scratch off tickets don't pay nothing at least this pays a little bit you know, you have a shot at hitting that big amount." says Steven Dicman of Binghamton.

"Oh it's a lot more fun! I do scratch off lottery tickets too but coming up here is a lot more fun." says Barbara Powers of Elkland Township.

" I'm not into buying lottery tickets, never have been but I like playing the machines." says Cecile Veasey of Waverly.

But some these gamblers are betting smart in these tough economic times.

"I have a limit, I come in with 20 dollars, once its gone that's it. I just have to drag my daughter out." says Kit Jones of Bocaraton, Florida.

"I don't come here with the idea I'm going to win, I just come here because I like it." says Powers.

A few years ago returns from these machines made up only 5 percent of all state Lottery revenue.

This year, its almost 13 percent.

A win win for Tioga Downs and the New York Lottery.

In Nichols, Jessica Light, WBNG-TV Action News.

Increased VLT use isn't the only added revenue keeping Tioga Downs afloat.

Legislation passed in February allows the Racino to keep more of the money it brings in during daily gaming operations.

Before that, Tioga Downs threatened to close.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.