Lottery backs Genting at Aqueduct
The New York Lottery has endorsed Genting New York as the operator of a 4,500-slot casino at Aqueduct racetrack.
Genting New York, a subsidiary of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Berhad - and the only one of six prospective operators to survive the latest round of bidding for the potentially lucrative New York City franchise - has promised the state an up-front payment of $380 million, according to a report in Blood-Horse News. The state had demanded from bidders at least $300 million.
Gov. David Paterson has said he would abide by whatever operator the Lottery selects. However, the selection also needs the backing of the leaders of the state Assembly and Senate.
Genting has proposed opening a temporary casino at the track with 1,600 video lottery terminals. The balance would be installed six months after that, together with a parking garage and a pedestrian bridge to a nearby subway station.
A Genting spokesman said the racino will create 2,000 construction jobs and lead to more than $500 million in annual revenue for the state. For the New York Racing Association the project is expected to erase its persistent cash-flow problems while horse owners and trainers expect a surge in purse revenue.
Three of Genting New York’s major principles have already been licensed by the Lottery to be partial owners of Monticello Raceway’s VLT casino.
The decision comes less than a week after Aqueduct Entertainment, which won, and then lost, a previous bidding round for Aqueduct, had its court case to reinstall its bid rejected by a state judge. The company is appealing, so it is uncertain if that could delay the Genting award.
Three previous bidding procedures were scuttled, with the most recent one earlier this year luring the interest of federal and state investigators wanting to know about the process used to select Aqueduct Entertainment. The latest bid was on a fast track, with the Lottery given until August 3 to make its recommendation, less than three months after it issued a request for proposals.