Western Regional Off-Track Betting has reluctantly released a list of people it’s given luxury suite tickets for various events in the area.
It's been referred to as a "high-rollers" list. OTB actually calls the program the "Suitestakes" and it's meant to reward people for regularly gambling at Batavia Downs Gaming.
For months, various media outlets have submitted Freedom of Information Law requests to see who the public benefit corporation was giving tickets. OTB originally denied the requests, arguing they wanted to protect the privacy of customers and not give other gaming facilities an opportunity to poach them.
However, pressure continued to mount, including Erie and Niagara County lawmakers asking for more information and an appeal of the FOIL denial by the Niagara Gazette.
"Despite the conclusion of our counsel that there are 'good faith' arguments to oppose the disclosure of the information requested, in the interest of transparency, WROTB has decided to provide the requested information and documents," OTB Foil Officer Zachary Elliott wrote.
These drawings date back to 2014 and Spectrum News is currently sifting through roughly 200 documents that include names of winners and abbreviations of the employees’ names that hosted the event. The prizes include tickets to Buffalo Bills games, Buffalo Sabres games and concerts.
Meanwhile, sources said a federal probe into Western Regional Off-Track Betting operations is ongoing.