Legislation giving the New York Racing Association a 25-year extension of its exclusive Thoroughbred franchise was signed Feb. 19, Gov. Eliot Spitzer said. Meanwhile, the mayor of New York City reiterated that New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. can't continue under its current arrangement with the state.
Relief, tempered with caution about the future, was the word among some of New York's owners and breeders the day after it was announced that the New York Racing Association struck a deal with the state to operate racing at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga for the next 25 years.
The New York Racing Association, in control of Thoroughbred racing in the state since 1955, will continue to run racing under a deal that came together Feb. 12 at the state Capitol in Albany, government and industry sources say.
- By Tom Precious
State racing regulators failed to approve a temporary license for the New York Racing Association to continue racing in January while talks about a permanent franchise deal continue.
A day after New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer recommended the New York Racing Association for a 30-year franchise extension, officials with the Republican-led Senate said an alternative is being crafted to bring in more players to run the lucrative franchise.
Albany Law School's Saratoga Institute on Racing and Gaming Law got off to a fast-paced start Aug. 7 when Dr. Don Catlin, a pioneer in the field of athletic drug testing, addressed a group of assembled lawyers and industry representatives gathered at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
New York state officials told three Thoroughbred franchise bidding groups they want to let the New York Racing Association continue running the state's major racetracks and begin a new bidding process for rights to operate casinos at Aqueduct and Belmont Park.
Empire Racing Associates has accused two of its competitors of secretly meeting to discuss a possible joint venture involving New York's Thoroughbred franchise, which Empire contends violates state procurement rules involving collusion.
New York officials are considering a major overhaul of the state's Thoroughbred racetrack industry, with an eye to possibly shutting down Aqueduct racetrack, having a new operator run Belmont and giving the New York Racing Association rights to operate Saratoga.
The New York Racing Association will become the first racing entity in New York to offer internet wagering. State regulators April 26 approved a NYRA application to permit the potentially lucrative form of gambling, beginning as soon as NYRA can start the venture.
The New York Racing Association keeps bleeding funds, according to the racing group's latest disclosure to a federal bankruptcy judge overseeing its reorganization.
Steve Swindal, the New York Yankees executive embroiled in divorce proceedings with the daughter of George Steinbrenner, has dropped out of Excelsior Racing Associates, one of four groups vying to win the New York Thoroughbred franchise whose proposals were made public April 5.
Two new groups, including a mystery entity, have joined the process to try to win the state Thoroughbred racetrack franchise now held by the New York Racing Association.
A New York state government panel is being created to evaluate groups interested in taking over the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks, a process that suddenly makes wide open the race to replace the New York Racing Association.
New York state officials said talks are under way to permit construction to proceed on a casino at Aqueduct, and a crack has opened to possibly permit more video lottery terminals in the state. Additionally, there is a plan by the state to provide more public assistance to keep the New York Racing Association afloat through 2007.
A state panel in New York is poised to recommend its choice for a new franchise holder to run racing at Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks on Tueday, Nov. 21.
The surprisingly large influx of campaign contributions from breeders and horse owners in Kentucky, California and elsewhere to the New York gubernatorial campaign of Eliot Spitzer did not come from individuals secretly vying to obtain the New York Racing Association franchise, according to one of the top donors.
Groups and individuals trying to influence the future direction of horse racing in New York have opened their wallets to statewide candidates and campaigns of legislators who will have a role in picking a new owner of the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the frontrunner in the New York governor's race, said he wants the franchise to run Thoroughbred racing in the state to be awarded sooner than later, and indicated the decision doesn't have to wait until the next governor takes over in 2007.
The New York Racing Association can give free passes to relatives of owners, trainers, and jockeys under a bill approved by the state legislature, but state regulators must be notified.
The New York Racing Association can give free track passes to relatives of owners, trainers and jockeys, under legislation that has been given final approval by the state Legislature.
The New York Racing Association's political muscle had nothing to do with the deal in which prosecutors agreed to indict NYRA, but not prosecute it if it agrees to certain reforms and pays a $3 million fine, NYRA chairman Barry Schwartz said Thursday.
Legislation designed to make it easier for New York tracks to coordinate racing schedules and sell their products jointly has been vetoed by Gov. George Pataki, who said the bill could "work to the detriment of New Yorkers who patronize horse racing and betting facilities."
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- The Saratoga season of 2003 is one New York Racing Association officials will not soon forget, and for good reason. They overcame numerous obstacles to post record numbers at what most people acknowledge is American racing's most important meeting.
An internal audit of a little known state fund found the New York Legislature has given the embattled New York Racing Association loose reins over $60 million it owes the state.
Trainer John Ward received a surprise phone call on Wednesday from New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer, three days after the Kentucky horseman made comments critical of the federal investigation of the New York Racing Association.
After meeting with its newly hired security consultant, the New York Racing Association on Wednesday said it has begun a review of its practices already under investigation by state and federal authorities.
Magna Entertainment Corp. is still very much interested in entering the New York racing market, and would seek to obtain, if it becomes available, the New York Racing Association franchise, the head of the company said Aug. 5.
A draft audit by New York state comptroller Alan Hevesi found the New York Racing Association has come up short in payments to purses and state franchise fees.
Federal prosecutors are preparing an indictment against the New York Racing Association that will allege a corporate conspiracy that permitted corruption to occur at its three racetracks. Sources also say the state is currently developing a contingency plan in case the NYRA is ousted from its duties.
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said he came away from a one-hour meeting with New York Racing Association Chairman Barry Schwartz convinced that NYRA will now be taking steps to improve the operations he sharply criticized last month following a three-year investigation.
Using a smiling, cigar-chomping photograph of gangster Al Capone atop a caption saying "he would have loved'' the thought of putting slot machines at New York Racing Association tracks, casino mogul Donald Trump has joined in on the growing chorus of NYRA critics.
The charges and countercharges battle between the New York Racing Association and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer continued June 24, with NYRA charging the state's chief law enforcement agent "does not understand NYRA's operations," and that he made "no attempt" to make his damaging report balanced.
Barry K. Schwartz, NYRA chairman and CEO, issued a scathing response Saturday to the state attorney general's critical report of the association's operations.
State officials should consider removing the New York Racing Association as operator of Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga racetracks for ignoring and covering up an empire overrun with employee corruption that includes cheating of its customers, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has charged.
Citibank, the nation's largest credit card company, is beginning a new system to block customers from using their plastic to make online wagers, New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer said June 14. The impact on companies that offer pari-mutuel wagering remains to be seen.
Four New York Racing Association employees have been indicted as part of a probe by state investigators into an alleged money laundering operation. New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani cancelled an 11 a.m. news conference at which he was to announce a group led by Magna Entertainment had won the purchase rights to the New York City Off Track Betting Corp.
The state and federal probe of an alleged money-laundering operation and tax-cheating scheme at New York Racing Association tracks could stretch on for months, law enforcement sources said.
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