WROTB Chairman: Record Numbers Show Effectiveness of Company’s Board of Directors
Directors of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. this morning overwhelmingly approved Board Chairman Richard Bianchi and Vice Chairman Ed Morgan retaining their leadership positions for another year, hitting back at a bill that would significantly change the makeup of the board of directors.
Bianchi (Monroe County) and Morgan (Orléans County) (in the photos, from left to right) were unanimously re-elected to lead the Board of Directors at their monthly meeting at Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road.
When appointing Bianchi, director Dennis Bassett (City of Rochester) cited WROTB’s “record revenue and record attendance,” adding that Bianchi “has guided us through some storms…and brought the board together like never before. “.
Morgan, a retired highway superintendent, was also recognized by Genesee County Executive Richard Siebert for his expertise in helping WROTB navigate the Park Road reconstruction project with the City of Batavia and for his availability. if needed.
The council, understandably, opposes a bill proposed by State Sen. Timothy Kennedy of Buffalo that would revise the council’s structure based on population — an action that would end the longstanding configuration of a director for each of Buffalo’s 15 counties and cities. and Rochester who own the public benefit corporation.
Kennedy also drafted two other bills that would cap the promotional item allowance for certain society members at $15 and prohibit WROTB society vehicles from being used as take-out vehicles. This bill follows a state comptroller’s report that criticized WROTB’s management and board in these areas.
WROTB Chairman Henry Wojtaszek said the board has worked hard throughout the committee process to elevate Batavia Downs Gaming, harness track and its OTB branches to record revenue.
“You heard today that the council certainly does not support a move to dismantle the council that has done such a good job of bringing Batavia Downs to where it is now, returning record sums to municipalities,” Wojtaszek noted.
“So they oppose it and they intend to go back to their respective communities, legislatures and councils and have them pass resolutions against this type of legislation. And as I said yesterday (at The Batavian), they asked me to explore options for fighting the coming into force of such legislation, including litigation.
Wojtaszek said Bianchi and Morgan are “outstanding” leaders and “they are always approachable”.
“They’re on site a lot and they bring their expertise in different areas that they bring to the table and you can see the results,” he said. “And in the numbers (because) people vote with their feet and their dollars…people like what they see when they come here. We provide great entertainment, we provide great customer service, we have great food and drink. And we intend to continue to do so.
Regarding Kennedy’s other bills, Wojtaszek said WROTB addressed the benefits situation three years ago and “supports these types of actions that provide transparency that reduces government waste. All these issues we support.
He said the company has set a limit on gifts, but noted a difference in game tickets (Sabres, Billets) that are given to administrators to host groups.
“This is not a gift for the person hosting Batavia Downs; they actually work. So the use of this ticket is for work, it’s not a gift in the first place,” he said. “Our policies and procedures put in place by our marketing director are very good at this stage.
“We dealt with people from across the state and the Inspector General, and anyone else we asked – the comptroller – who we invited to give us advice on how to better manage this place. We followed this advice and everything is going very well at the moment.