Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

Sep
04

Heaney-Bellavia interview on WBEN

Jim Heaney made his debut Thursday on David Bellavia’s talk show on NewsRadio 930WBEN. Heaney and Bellavia, in a 41 minute interview, discussed a range of topics, including the M.T. Pockets situation, Mayor Byron Brown, the city’s contract with its police union, and the Western Regional Off Track Betting Corp. The show broadcast in three […]

Jul
23

A critical voice on OTB board?

The Erie County Legislature has appointed a prolific Democratic donor as its representative to the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.  Francis Warthling was approved in a unanimous vote Thursday to replace Beverly Mazur, who served in the role for ten years. His appointment follows nearly 18 months of controversy at OTB, including ongoing federal and […]

Jul
14

Furloughs at OTB despite federal aid

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. has furloughed two-thirds of its workforce after accepting more than $3 million from the federal government intended to keep employees working during the pandemic. The Batavia-based OTB has been forced to shutter most of its operations since March. Its casino at Batavia Downs, the largest source of revenue, is closed […]

May
08

Gambini radio interviews on OTB story

Earlier this week, Phil Gambini reported that the Western Regional Off Track Betting Corp. has secured $3.2 million in federal funding intended to help small business weather the COVID-19 pandemic. The story also detailed how OTB chief Henry Wojtaszek has doubled his salary since starting with the organization, despite its uneven financial performance and ongoing […]

May
06

OTB lands $3.2M intended for small business

The Western Regional Off Track Betting Corp. is not to be mistaken for a small business. It’s a state-created public benefit corporation, owned by 15 counties and two cities, and charged with running legalized betting operations in western and central New York. It shares its profits with those local governments and the State of New […]

Mar
12

Erie County ousting its OTB representative

The Erie County Legislature wants to replace its representative on the governing board of the embattled Western Regional Off Track Betting Corp.  The Legislature’s Democratic majority announced its intention through a media advisory issued March 5 and is soliciting resumes from applicants. Lawmakers plan to interview candidates April 9. Erie County’s current appointee, Beverly Mazur, […]

Feb
19

Gambini talks OTB on WBFO

Phil Gambini discusses his recent story on the Western Regional Off Track Betting Corp.’s use of luxury suites it rents at KeyBank Center and New Era Field. On this installment of Press Pass, Gambini detailed how OTB tried to obstruct his reporting.  

Feb
07

$40 for a six pack of beer? OTB parties on.

 The Western Regional Off Track Betting Corp. is spending more than $300,000 a year on suites to Sabres and Bills games and concerts and running up large tabs for food and drinks, including copious amounts of alcohol. Officials claim they’re rewarding high rollers at its casino, but records show they’re also helping themselves to […]