PHOENIX, N.Y. — An off-track betting parlor just off Route 481 in Phoenix’s Oswego County village and its Phoenix Sports Restaurant will close at the end of this month, the restaurant owner said.
Mike Lattimore Jr., who runs the restaurant with his father Mike Sr., confirmed the restaurant and OTB will be closing on July 29. He said the restaurant is an OTB tenant. Mr. and Mrs. Lattimore have run this restaurant for his 13 years.
Phoenix horse racing betting is operated by Western Region OTB, a “state charitable corporation” owned by 15 counties in western and central New York and the cities of Buffalo and Rochester. It has OTB parlors in Phoenix, Auburn and other areas stretching west to Buffalo, which it calls “superbrunches,” as well as gambling kiosks in many of the restaurants and bars in the area. It also operates the Batavia Downs Casino and Harness Racing Track in Genesee County.
Calls from Syracuse.com to the Western Regional OTB office and the New York State Gambling Commission have not been returned.
Phoenix’s OTB closure came in the wake of a Western Region OTB restructuring earlier this year. Earlier this year, the state legislature removed all former board members and shifted the board’s voting power to favor densely populated areas such as Monroe and Erie counties.
This comes after a 2021 audit issued by the State Comptroller’s Office critical of OTB operations in the Western Region, which lacked proper financial accounting and forced officers and employees to receive concert tickets and free gifts. The practice of giving expensive perks such as meals and alcohol was found.
New York’s OTB parlors are also dealing with a decline in the popularity of horse racing, along with increased competition from the opening of large full-service casinos and the introduction of legal online sports betting last year.
Besides Auburn OTB, the next closest OTB parlor to Syracuse is located in Bridgeport, Madison County and is operated by the Capital Region OTB corporation, which is separate from the Western Region operations.
Phoenix Sports Restaurant, located at 228 Huntley Road, offers burgers, sandwiches, steaks, pizza and even frog legs. It boasts 150 TVs and $2.50 beer.
Don Cazantl writes: NYup.com, Syracuse.com and post-standard.please contact him firstname.lastname@example.org follow him NYup.comupon twitter again Facebook.