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Schwartz: Video Gaming Not a Panacea

The video lottery terminals proposed for New York racetrack appear to be less of a good deal than when a law that permits them was rushed through two months ago, the head of the New York Racing Association said.

Saratoga Springs May Be VLT Battleground

As a new, sweeping gambling package was signed into law in New York, forces were already lining up for a potentially nasty battle over whether to permit video lottery terminals in Saratoga Springs, the state's healthiest Thoroughbred community.

Big City, Big Show

By Ray Paulick -- New Yorkers made Belmont Park come alive in a way unique to America's greatest city.

New York Adopts VLT, Casino Legislation

Officials in New York gave final approval early this morning to a historic gambling package giving most racetracks video lottery terminals, allowing up to six Indian-owned casinos in Western New York and the Catskills and expanding the state's lottery offerings.

Auctions Planned To Raise Money for NTRA Charities-New York Heroes Fund

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Breeders' Cup Limited announced revised plans for their fundraising activities in connection with the NTRA Charities - New York Heroes Fund, including a series of charity auctions to replace the previously scheduled, black-tie Breeders' Cup Charity Gala Oct. 26. The Heroes Fund aids the families of rescue workers and other victims of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

Giuliani: Sell NYCOTB to Raise Revenue

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is urging state lawmakers and the governor to approve his plan to sell the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. to a Magna Entertainment-led consortium as a way to raise much-needed revenues in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

NYRA Hires Gulfstream Park Executive

The New York Racing Association, apparently seeking to cover its bases in its fight to block the sale of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. to a consortium headed by Magna Entertainment, has lured away a top executive from a Magna-owned racetrack.

Goal Doubled for New York Heroes Fund

Due to a flood of early, generous contributions, the NTRA, Breeders' Cup Limited, and the New York Racing Association announced Friday it was doubling its goal for the NTRA Charities -- New York Heroes Fund to $2 million. The Heroes Fund, set up by the organizations a week ago, will aid the families of New York firefighters, police officers, emergency services personnel, and other victims who perished in the terrorist attacks on New York Sept. 11.

USDA Approves Quarantine Center at Aqueduct

The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave its approval today to a foot-and-mouth quarantine facility at Aqueduct. The decision will make it easier for European horses to compete in Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship prep races at Belmont Park.

Keeneland Reduces Exotics Takeout

Keeneland has announced that effective with the start of its autumn meeting Oct. 5 it will be lowering the takeout on exotic wagers from 19% to 16%. Bettors with winning tickets on daily doubles, exactas, trifectas, superfectas, and Pick Threes will see a higher percentage of money returned to them.

Sources: Aqueduct VLT Experiment in the Works

New York Gov. George Pataki is quietly floating a plan to permit video lottery terminals only at Aqueduct racetrack on an experimental basis, sources at the state capital said. The plan is said to ignore the Standardbred industry, which has lobbied hard for VLTs.

Horsemen: New York Has Poor OTB Model

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, in a statement released Aug. 19, said it "firmly believes" the owner of New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. should be the operator of New York's Thoroughbred racing franchise, in this case the New York Racing Association.

NYRA to Support VLT Legislation; Schwartz Rips Stronach

At a press conference at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, New York Racing Association chairman Barry Schwartz announced that the board of trustees of the NYRA agreed to support the introduction of video lottery terminals at Aqueduct and Belmont Park under conditions that would further the racing industry in New York State.

NYRA: VLTs OK at Aqueduct and Belmont

The New York Racing Association board of trustees on Wednesday announced it would support the introduction of video lottery terminals at Aqueduct and Belmont Park under conditions that would "further the racing industry in New York state." Saratoga, located in upstate New York, is not in the mix.

Report: Stronach Wouldn't Mind Owning NYRA

  • News

Less than a week after Magna Entertainment was tapped as the winning bidder for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., the company's chairman, Frank Stronach, said he would like to add the New York Racing Association franchise to his portfolio.

Rotten Apple

By Ray Paulick -- If the privatization of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation was a horse race, the inquiry sign would have lit up immediately after the city's mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, on Aug. 2 announced the bureaucracy would be sold to a group headed by Frank Stronach's Magna Entertainment and Bob Green's Greenwood Racing.

It's Official! Magna Is Winning Bidder For NYCOTB

Setting the stage for a nasty battle between two racing giants, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani Thursday afternoon tapped a group led by Frank Stronach's Magna Entertainment over the New York Racing Association as the winning buyer of the lucrative New York City Off Track Betting Corp.

Mixed Meet for Belmont Park

Total handle for Belmont Park's 55-day meet increased 4.8%, but on-track numbers continued to be weak. Average daily on-track handle was flat at $1,929,951, while average daily attendance fell 5.9% to 8,025.

NYRA Employees Indicted; Giuliani Cancels News Conference

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.

Indictments, Winning OTB Bidder to be Announced?

A first round of indictments involving allegations of criminal activity at betting window operations at New York Racing Association tracks is expected today, sources said Wednesday. Also Thursday, the winning bidder for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. is expected to be announced.

Magna May Have NYC-OTB Inside Track

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.

NYRA's Lower Takeout Rate on Wagers Approved

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.

Legislative Issues Said to Have Stalled OTB Sale

The sale of New York City Off-Track Betting apparently hinges on legislative changes that would make the entity more attractive to potential buyers. Meanwhile, it appears the state legislature may have more time to examine the issue given the fact they may remain in Albany into the summer.

Hail to the Chief

By Ray Paulick -- Without question, the presence of Bill and Hillary Clinton added a significant buzz to the Belmont.

Despite Improvements, NYRA Spending Still Questioned

The New York Racing Association has made improvements in its financial practices in recent years, but state auditors have questioned a number of big-ticket expenses, including money NYRA donated to charity but did not report to federal tax officials and consulting and lobbying expenses.

NYRA, Legislator Clash on Aqueduct Dates Bill

The New York Racing Association says legislation that would allow it to reduce dates at Aqueduct has met no opposition from other racing groups, but at least one legislator has reservations. The bill was reported out of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, and is expected to be approved by the lower House within weeks.

Bill Would Let NYRA Trim Aqueduct Meet

The state Senate unanimously approved a bill sponsored by Senate Racing Committee chairman William Larkin that would, at the request of the New York Racing Association, change state law to lower the number of mandatory racing days at Aqueduct from 107 to 95.

Welcome Relief

By Ray Paulick -- An informal survey of Central Kentucky farms on May 21 suggests the worst may be over as far as mare reproductive loss syndrome is concerned.

Finger Lakes and Western OTB To Open Special Betting District

An agreement has been reached between Finger Lakes Race Track and the Western Regional OTB to open a Finger Lakes Special Betting District in the western New York area. The deal, contingent upon Western Regional OTB obtaining an operating license from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board to re-open Batavia Downs, will aid the expansion of simulcast wagering at Finger Lakes and local OTB parlors. Both sides have been working on a deal since Finger Lakes approached Western with the proposal in March 2000.

New York Group to Fund VLT Study

A New York coalition has agreed to open up its wallet to fund a quick study of video lottery terminals in an effort to convince state lawmakers and the governor to permit their operation at racetracks. The legislative session is expected to extend into the summer.

New York OTB Bidders Down to Two; Pataki Supports Sale

The long process to name a purchaser for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. reached an expected final step when city government narrowed the field to two final bidders: a consortium headed by the New York Racing Association, and another by Magna Entertainment. Meanwhile, Gov. George Pataki, in a brief interview this week, said he favors the sale of NYCOTB. Pataki, who can kill any deal when it comes to Albany for review, has been largely silent on the issue in recent months.

NYRA Chief Pushes Lawmakers for Lower Takeout

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.

Schwartz: Alliance 'Makes a Lot of Sense'

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.

NYRA, Racetrack Cooperative Settle Simulcast Dispute

The New York Racing Association and the Southern Racing Cooperative have settled a simulcast contract dispute that will return the NYRA signal to the 11-member track cooperative. The cooperative includes Lone Star Park, Sam Houston Race Park, and Retama Park in Texas; Oaklawn Park in Arkansas; Emerald Downs in Washington; Prairie Meadows in Iowa; Tampa Bay Downs in Florida; and the Downs at Albuquerque, Ruidoso Downs, SunRay Park, and Sunland Park in New Mexico.

A Dandy Mistake

By Ray Paulick -- In recent weeks, New Jersey racetrack executive Bruce Garland even suggested the Graded Stakes Committee is a puppet of the New York Racing Association and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

NYRA to be Audited by Private Firm

A long-running feud between the New York Racing Association and state racing regulators ended Wednesday when a private accounting firm was given final approval to audit NYRA's books.

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