Group is sole surviving bidder for license to operate VLTs as others are disqualified

A unit of Malaysian casino giant Genting emerged this week as the sole surviving bidder for a license to operate VLTs at Aqueduct racetrack in the New York City borough of Queens.

Competing proposals submitted by a consortium comprising SL Green, Hard Rock International and Clairvest Group and by Penn National Gaming did not comply with the paperwork requirements of the bidding process and were disqualified, New York Lottery said in a statement Wednesday.

The two bidders did not submit signed copies of a prepared memorandum of understanding, instead offering altered versions of the MOU with more favorable terms for the bidding companies, New York Lottery said in a report by Dow Jones Newswire. Genting New York is a wholly owned subsidiary of Genting Malaysia, operator of a mountain resort outside Kuala Lumpur that includes one of Asia’s largest casinos. New York Lottery added that if Genting New York's bid is accepted, it will make a recommendation on or before August 3 to Gov. David Paterson, the temporary president of the state Senate and the speaker of the Assembly.

Genting New York will be required to pay an upfront licensing fee of at least $300 million should it succeed in its bid to operate the 4,500 terminal facility, the only legal casino within the New York City limits.

Analysts estimated the New York venture will add 5 to 10 percent to Genting Malaysia's annual earnings. Genting Malaysia reported net profit of US$405.9 million in 2009.