State now hoping to name a winner in September

Six bidders have entered the running for a planned racino at Aqueduct racetrack in the New York City borough of Queens.

Among those that submitted plans to Gov. David Patterson’s office last week, the favorites are considered to be SL Green, the largest landlord in Manhattan, and partner Hard Rock International; a group called Aqueduct Entertainment Group, consisting of The Navegante Group and some prominent local developers; and Las Vegas casino boss Steve Wynn.

The state has refused to publicly reveal any information about the bids, but the entities have made their plans known.

SL Green has bid $250 million for the prized license, $100 million of which would be paid in advance. AEG bid $151 million, including $101 million in advance and another $50 million when the racino is up and running. Wynn bid $75 million, but indicated he would exceed the highest bid, according to unnamed sources cited by Crain’s New York Business.

Another well-known local developer, R. Donahue Peebles, has joined with Las Vegas-based casino conglomerate MGM Mirage on a $150 million bid, according to published reports. Casino and racetrack operator Penn National Gaming has submitted a conditional $150 million bid. Lastly, racetrack and racino operator Delaware North, which originally was selected for the license then rejected when it couldn’t pay the state $370 million up front, has put in a $100 million bid.

The state is expected to select a winner in early September.