Tom Precious

Delayed Aqueduct VLT Costs Soaring

The projected costs of the New York Racing Association's video lottery terminal casino keep soaring, and state officials are voicing renewed concerns about the delay in building the new gambling facility at Aqueduct racetrack.

'Friends' Releases Legislative Proposal for Racing

New York should permit public and private partnerships to bid on the New York Racing Association franchise, allow bettors to wager via computers, introduce frequent-betting rewards programs at tracks, and approve the merger of the state's off-track betting corporations, according to an ambitious legislative package proposed March 9 by Friends of New York Racing.

NY Tracks, VLTs Worth $2.1 Billion, Study Says

New York state could reap at least $2.1 billion if it auctions off video lottery terminal franchises at Aqueduct and Belmont racetracks, sells the tracks now run by the New York Racing Association, and privatizes the six regional off-track betting corporations now scattered around the state.

NYRA Bailout Tied to Hike in Takeout Rate

The New York Racing Association will have to raise pari-mutuel takeout if it is to obtain a $20-million loan from the state of New York, according to language buried in state budget bills introduced the week of Jan. 16.

New York Panel Schedules Public Hearings

The New York state panel involved in the renewal process for a new Thoroughbred racing franchise to replace the New York Racing Association will hold two public hearings later this month to help it carry out its mandate.

Pataki Offers Last-Ditch Plan to Assist NYRA

New York Gov. George Pataki is offering $10 million in immediate aid to help keep the ailing New York Racing Association from insolvency, and he pledged to work with legislators on another measure to lend NYRA cash against its future gaming proceeds.

Report: New York Must Overhaul Racing Laws

New York officials need to act quickly to launch a major overhaul of racing laws to help jumpstart the state's $1.4-billion Thoroughbred racing industry, Friends of New York Racing concluded in its year-end report on the status of pari-mutuel horse racing in the state.

State Audit Details Questionable Spending at Capital Investment Fund

The former chairman of the now-defunct New York State Thoroughbred Capital Investment Fund tapped into the agency's budget to foot expenses for a bed and breakfast and Mexican restaurant he owned, while CIF funds were used to pay for such personal items as overnight mailings to watch repair stores, gasoline and entertainment, New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi said in an audit released Dec. 5.

Sotheby's Suspends Sale of NY Equine Art

The auction of 19 pieces of equine artwork by the financially ailing New York Racing Association has been canceled after Sotheby's auction house withdrew the sale under threat of legal action by the state government.

NYRA Ripped for Bypassing State Oversight Panel

The New York Racing Association, which hopes to get the state's attention on its current fiscal plight, did itself no favors by the way it hired a bankruptcy law firm to represent it in the event of insolvency if the reaction of the head of a new oversight panel is any indication.

NYRA Wants to Sell 80 Acres Near Aqueduct

A secretive group trying to obtain the New York Racing Association franchise is raising concerns about NYRA's attempt to sell 80 acres of land near Aqueduct racetrack--land the group says may not be owned by NYRA.

Federal Prosecutors Drop Case Against NYRA

Federal prosecutors have dropped their longstanding criminal case against the New York Racing Association, which officials said cooperated in reforming past episodes of wrongdoing that could have cost it the franchise to operate the tracks.

Monitor's Comments Indicate NYRA May Be Cleared

The New York Racing Association has made significant strides to improve its operations and to bolster the integrity of the racing industry, according to the federal monitor assigned to oversee NYRA during its deferred prosecution period.

Officials Knock Heads Over Racing Franchise

The battle over the franchise to run three New York racetracks got off to an unofficial start Aug. 2 when officials with the New York Racing Association and Magna Entertainment Corp. sparred during an Albany Law School symposium.

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