NY Assembly Approves NYRA Takeover Bill

The measure will be considered by Senate before June 21 adjournment of session.

The New York Assembly June 20 unanimously passed and sent to the Senate legislation that would permit the state to run the New York Racing Association for at least the next three years.

The Senate was expected to consider the legislation prior to its adjournment June 21 and send the measure on for the signature of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who worked out the details of the NYRA takeover with legislators.

The New York State Racing Franchise Accountability and Transparency Act of 2012, introduced June 16, will create a 17-member board of directors for NYRA. State officials insist they will end oversight of NYRA in three years. (Related story)

The 17-member board will be composed of five members appointed by the existing NYRA board, eight by the governor and two apiece by the leaders of the state Senate and Assembly. The governor gets to nominate a board chair, upon approval by a majority of the new board. Two advisory non-voting members will be recommended by the state breeders' association and the NYRA’s horsemen’s group.

The legislation also changes the creation of a new gaming commission to oversee various aspects of gambling in New York from Oct. 1 until February 2012.

The current NYRA board has 25 members, 11 of whom are appointed by state officials. The new board puts control of NYRA into the hands of the governor and his eight appointees.