Legislation lowering the takeout at the New York Racing Association's tracks has been signed into law by Governor George Pataki.
New York's top Democrat in the state Legislature said New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has told him the city government is inclined to sell its massive off track betting operation to a consortium of racing interests headed by Magna Entertainment.
New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. falling into the hands of a consortium led by Magna Entertainment would be "an affront" to the entire racing industry, the head of the New York Racing Association charged.
The New York Racing Association, after agreeing to concessions with the state's off-track betting corporations, won final legislative approval of its plan to lower takeout on betting at its three tracks in New York. Gov. George Pataki must sign the bill.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Without question, the presence of Bill and Hillary Clinton added a significant buzz to the Belmont.
While pushing to take over the New York City Off Track Betting Corp., Barry Schwartz has been busily pressing top state lawmakers at the Capitol in Albany to back him on what has become his other chief lobbying mission this year: lowering the takeout at New York racetracks.
At the New York Capitol building Tuesday afternoon, legislative sources were already predicting the new partnership of the New York Racing Association, Churchill Downs Inc., and the TV Games Network has a strong edge over the group headed by Magna Entertainment in the bidding for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp.
Promoters pushing to legalize video gambling at racetracks in New York have stepped up their efforts in recent weeks to make a last-gasp push to get the controversial devices turned on at Thoroughbred and harness tracks. The quiet but intense effort, first reported by The Buffalo News, has been spurred by a new plan to use the state Lottery Division as a possible way to allay concerns about the constitutionality of the machines.
Stakes winner David, who was retired from racing earlier this month, will set up stud duty for the 2001 season at DunHill Stud near Reddick, Fla. His fee will be $3,000 payable 35 days after the foal's birth.
As new chairman of the New York Racing Association, horse owner and breeder Barry Schwartz has taken swift action to make changes sought by the tracks' racing fans and patrons. In a letter posted on the NYRA Website, Schwartz said the changes are a result of feedback to an online survey conducted by NYRA.
Kenny Noe Jr. resigned as CEO and chairman of the New York Racing Association's Board of Trustees at the board's monthly meeting Wednesday, with prominent owner-breeder Barry Schwartz named to replace him.
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