In a state unaccustomed to rosy equine industry fiscal numbers, New York officials are going out of their way to hail the breaking of the $1 million mark in proceeds to a Thoroughbred breeding fund from the new casino at Aqueduct.
The Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct has provided $1 million in revenue sharing funds to the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund since it opened the VLT parlor Oct. 28, the state announced Jan. 12.
Officials estimate the breeding fund will total $12 million this year from the Genting New York facility.
The Aqueduct racino for the week ending Jan. 7 saw an average net win per machine of $368 on its 5,000 VLT devices on a total net win for the week of $12.9 million. In contrast, the next closest casino--at Yonkers Raceway--had a per-machine net win during the same week of $305 on its 5,380 machines, according to statistics from the state's lottery agency that oversees the VLT programs.
During the final three months of 2011, the Aqueduct casino reported $1.4 billion in “onscreen credits” being wagered on the VLT devices and a net win of nearly $90 million. Genting’s take during that period--from its 38% commission--amounts to $34 million, while the state brought in $39 million that is to be earmarked for public school funding. From Genting’s “agent commission,” the New York Racing Association gets 3% for operating expenses and 4% to fund capital expenses and maintenance costs of its tracks.
John Sabini, the state’s top racing regulator who is also chairman of the breeding and development fund, called the $1 million mark in revenue sharing for the fund from the Aqueduct casino “excellent news for the Thoroughbred breeding industry in New York and the entire horse racing industry.”
The breeding fund said money it collected from the casino will be released in February for awards earned in November and December. Additional funding will be released through supplementary awards approved by the fund’s directors. The fund had previously increased breeder award levels by 50% beginning Jan. 1 as a result of the new revenues from the casino.
“New York’s horse breeding industry will benefit greatly from this revenue stream,” Tracy Egan, the fund’s executive director, said in a written statement.
The new money comes after a tough few years for New York’s breeding operations. Genting, meanwhile, is pushing a plan to further expand casino operations at Aqueduct, as well as the development at the facility of the world’s largest convention center.