Vic Zast, a racetrack executive, businessman, turf writer, and ardent racing fan, died Aug. 3. Zast, who had been a regular contributor to The Blood-Horse and authored the "Saratoga Diary" blog at Bloodhorse.com, was 69.
Bids are due June 29 for the long-delayed Aqueduct casino project, and already one of the bidding groups is dropping out.
- By Tom Precious
New York state officials are preparing as early as this week to release new bid proposals for the delayed Aqueduct casino project, with a winner expected to be selected possibly by the end of June.
- By Tom Precious
Negotiations for an Aqueduct casino operator have stepped up again, with a new flurry of talks between Gov. David Paterson and legislative leaders occurring in advance of a return by the state legislature the week of Nov. 16 to deal with New York's soaring deficit.
All five remaining bidders for the Aqueduct gaming project said they have met a Nov. 6 deadline to guarantee a quick $200-million payment to the state of New York if they are chosen to develop the video lottery terminal casino at the Queens racetrack.
Las Vegas casino executive Steve Wynn has pulled out of the running for the long-stalled Aqueduct casino project, sources said Nov. 4.
- By Tom Precious
The six bidding groups vying for the Aqueduct casino rights have been asked to submit their "final" offers -- again -- to the state of New York, along with a new promise for a large and quick payment.
- By Tom Precious
Gov. David Paterson and New York legislative leaders met behind closed doors Oct. 29 in Manhattan to try to resolve the selection of an operator for the long-stalled Aqueduct video lottery terminal casino project.
Gov. David Paterson hinted that selection of an Aqueduct video lottery terminal casino operator could come as early as Oct. 1, but sources indicated it take a little while longer.
Negotiators in New York have tentatively narrowed down the bidding list to three entities to run the long-delayed video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct, and a final decision could come as early as the week of Sept. 28.
Trying one more time, the state of New York accepted seven new bids - from major casino operators to real estate and racing interests -- to develop a casino at Aqueduct racetrack, an authority first approved for the facility back in 2001.
The long and twisting turns of efforts to develop a casino at Aqueduct racetrack has gone to a new venue: state court. SL Green Realty Corp., a Manhattan real estate company, has sued Buffalo-based Delaware North for breach of contract and other causes with allegations that include taking confidential information it obtained from SL Green for use in its bid for the casino.
The state of New York should abandon efforts to find new bidders to develop a video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct and instead tap the New York Racing Association to run the long-delayed facility, a leading state lawmaker believes.
As state officials in New York scrambled to re-group following the collapse of the Delaware North plan to build a casino at Aqueduct racetrack, at least one of the former bidding groups said it would be interested in making a new bid on the long-stalled project.
The long-stalled Aqueduct casino project will now be facing yet another delay, as the company that won the rights to develop the facility is telling the state it cannot meet a deadline to make its $370 million franchise fee payment.
A New York state government panel said Belmont Park can support a sprawling casino, hotel, retail, and housing development to bring jobs and money to the state.
The company selected to operate video lottery terminals at Aqueduct said there are a host of unresolved issues, including restructuring its financing deal, before it can close on a final agreement with the state of New York to begin construction on the long-delayed facility.
New York Gov. David Paterson is proposing to permit a casino at Belmont racetrack, a move he believes will raise $370 million in a franchise fee payment to the deficit-ridden state.
The top Republican in the New York state Legislature is, again, calling on the governor and Democrats to back an effort to bring a casino to Belmont Park.
New York state officials finally gave Delaware North approval to build and operate a video lottery casino at Aqueduct. The racetrack will house New York City's only legal casino, which could generate tens of millions for purses and breeders' awards.
New York Gov. David Paterson selected Delaware North to run a new, sprawling video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct, sources at the state capital said Oct. 10. But the Senate balked at his choice.
The three bidders vying for lucrative rights to develop a casino at Aqueduct racetrack in New York have all passed a critical background check by the state, Governor David Paterson said July 20.
- By Tom Precious
A consortium of major horse industry companies vying for the Thoroughbred franchise in New York began falling apart Oct. 10, as Magna Entertainment Corp., Churchill Downs Inc., and Delaware North announced their withdrawal from Empire Racing Associates.
Finger Lakes Gaming & Racing will add almost 200 video lottery terminals as part of a $4-million expansion, but a top official with owner Delaware North indicated major racing-related projects, such as installation of a turf course and perhaps a synthetic surface, are closely linked to the VLT revenue model in New York.
Michael Corbin has been named to the new position of vice president of finance for Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment, which is expanding from a racing company to a full-scale hospitality company.
The company that owns Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack and operates video lottery terminals at two upstate New York harness tracks has joined the board of directors of Friends of New York Racing, the advocacy organization that seeks to create a better business model for horse racing in the state.
Hit by relatively high revenue-sharing demands from the state and plans for even more gambling competition, New York's racetrack video gaming machine program has a murky future, Wall Street analysts and industry officials said.
Patrons waited more than two hours to enter Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack Feb. 18 for the opening of the track's video lottery terminal parlor. The scene was reminiscent of one that played out a few weeks earlier when Saratoga Gaming and Raceway became New York's first operating racino.
Finger Lakes in upstate New York will open its video lottery terminal parlor Feb. 18 to become the second racino to begin operation in the past month under a 2001 state law.
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