Under the 2001 law, all tracks in New York, except Belmont and Saratoga, are eligible to offer VLTs.
In a case closely watched by the racing industry, a New York judge today upheld legislation permitting racetracks in New York to offer video lottery terminals.Supreme Court Judge Joseph Teresi said VLTs "are indeed true video lotteries and therefore are a constitutionally permissible lottery game.''The judge also upheld the state's 2001 gambling law that also permitted up to six Indian-owned casinos in Western New York and the Catskills, as well as entry by the state into a multi-state lottery game.Cornelius Murray, a lawyer for a coalition of business, religious and civic groups that brought the lawsuit, including the head of the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, said he will appeal Teresi's decision.The decision removes a legal obstacle, at least for now, that had been hanging over the racing industry. Racetracks have shied away from starting up the VLT program, mostly because they argued the revenue-sharing program devised for them by the state was inadequate. But track operators were also nervous about investing capital money in a program that could be rejected in court. Earlier this year, the state, looking to get the VLTs turned on and the revenue stream flowing to the cash-starved state government, increased the VLT money share destined for tracks.Tracks are beginning to move ahead with the VLT program; at the New York Racing Association, bids have been received for various work at a new VLT parlor, which will hold 4,500 devices, at Aqueduct.