A measure to encourage the operation of video lottery terminals at several big racetracks in New York, including the New York Racing Association's Aqueduct track, collapsed Aug. 12 in Albany amid industry infighting, political intrigue and head-butting among powerful lobbyists.
Magna Entertainment Corp. is still willing to partner with the New York Racing Association, but it is also pursuing its own move into the New York marketplace in case NYRA isn't serious about a merger, MEC president Jim McAlpine said.
The New York Racing Association's chief executive officer isn't willing to definitively say National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner Tim Smith will take over as president, but Barry Schwartz believes the time has come for him to step aside from his full-time NYRA post.
The New York Racing Association lost nearly $20 million last year, in part due to government fines and other expenses to cope with ongoing legal problems. But the association expects to greatly reduce the deficit in 2004.
More money was wagered in New York on out-of-state races than in-state races in 2003, the first time such a shift has occurred, according to a new report by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
Not only will Saratoga Gaming and Raceway not close down its video lottery terminal parlor in August to accommodate the New York Racing Association, but there is talk of the NYRA neighbor adding another 700 VLTs, a state official said.
A New York appeals court July 7 said the revenue-sharing agreement for racetrack video lottery gambling is unconstitutional, a decision that raises new questions about a program that has stalled at the state's biggest tracks.
The New York Racing Association June 28 unveiled the details of its 2004 Saratoga meet, a 36-day gathering with a heavy line-up of horses and top trainers but one that will operate under the watchful eye of a court-appointed monitor.
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.
New York Republican officials are growing increasingly frustrated with Democrats who run the Assembly for blocking a measure to overhaul racing regulation and setting up a new state monitor to oversee the operations at the troubled New York Racing Association.
Monticello Raceway in New York's Catskill mountains resort region would become the home of a $500-million, Las Vegas-style casino under a deal announced by Gov. George Pataki and the Cayuga Indian tribe.
The New York state Senate June 3 gave quick approval to a plan to overhaul the regulation of racing in the state, including a provision designed to get video lottery terminals installed this year at Aqueduct.
Batavia Downs, believed to be the nation's oldest nighttime Standardbred track, will not open for racing this summer because of dwindling revenue and an inability to get financing for its racino operation, track officials said.
New York Gov. George Pataki May 27 proposed a complete overhaul of racing laws in the state, a move that would block the New York Racing Association's bid to get its racetrack franchise extended this year, and provide incentives to get video lottery terminals in operation at Aqueduct.
An investment group is taking ownership of Tioga Park, shuttered to racing in upstate New York since 1978, with plans to begin Standardbred racing next year in a facility that it hopes will also include a video lottery terminal casino.
The New York Racing Association and Magna Entertainment Corp. again are discussing merger possibilities, two months after the NYRA board flatly rejected a bid by Frank Stronach's company to become financial partners.
As some lawmakers and off-track betting corporations push for an increase in pari-mutuel takeout, New York regulators March 30 agreed to lower the takeout on certain pick six wagers at New York Racing Association tracks.
Pari-mutuel takeout wars have begun in New York, where a state senator has introduced legislation to increase the amount the New York Racing Association keeps on wagers. Though the measure's sponsor said the takeout hike is needed to help stop NYRA's financial bleeding, NYRA chairman Barry Schwartz insists the legislation would turn off bettors and decrease purses.
Two weeks after floating its legislative proposal around the state Capitol, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has found a legislator to introduce a measure that would force the New York Racing Association to reimburse millions of dollars it borrowed from the horsemen's purse account.
The New York Racing Association would be legally required to reimburse horsemen in the state for the millions it borrowed from their purse fund to pay for its operations, according to a proposal being quietly shopping around to state legislators.
A Manhattan law firm with broad investigative experience has been named by a federal judge to oversee the finances and operations of the New York Racing Association to ensure it is in compliance with an oversight process ordered last year by the U.S. Attorney's office.
State regulators have denied a 2004 racing application for troubled Vernon Downs, a Standardbred racetrack in central New York. The Feb. 27 ruling by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board prohibits racing at the facility and keeps shuttered a recently completed video lottery terminal casino.
New York state has no choice but to give the New York Racing Association an extension of its franchise if it wants to get video lottery terminals operating at Aqueduct, NYRA chairman Barry Schwartz said.
Racetracks in New York would be permitted to have full Las Vegas-style casinos under new state legislation that also calls for a constitutional amendment to permit non-Indian casinos in the Catskills and Western New York.
Gerald Nielsen, a prominent New York breeder instrumental in building up the state's breeding industry, has died. The cause of death was not immediately known, but Nielsen had been scheduled to come to Albany Monday to lobby state officials on breeding issues.
Just a month before he proposed a dramatic expansion of gambling with video lottery terminals across the state, New York Gov. George Pataki told a state appeals court the devices would be limited to racetracks under a 2001 law.
The New York Racing Association is filing paperwork stating its intent to sue the New York City Off Track Betting Corporation for undercutting simulcasting fees, the latest in a long line of tussles between the two influential industry groups.
New York Gov. George Pataki has proposed new competition for racetracks with a plan to have the state sell eight video lottery terminal franchises to hotels, off-track betting parlors, and other entities.
Licensing problems have delayed, for possibly well into 2004, the opening of Vernon Downs, which was to become the first racetrack in New York with video lottery terminals. That honor will now go to Saratoga Raceway, which is scheduled to open its VLT operation in mid-January.
The New York Racing Association, under investigation for more than three years, was indicted Thursday on fraud and conspiracy charges. Besides the indictment of NYRA, the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn also unsealed indictments against two former directors of the parimutuel department as well as four former tellers on conspiracy and tax fraud charges.
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.
The New York Racing Association, under investigation for more than three years, was indicted Thursday on fraud and conspiracy charges. Despite that, NYRA will be able to retain its franchise to run three premier Thoroughbred tracks in New York under a "deferred prosecution'' deal in which it will escape a trial in return for reforming its operations, according to the deal agreed to by federal prosecutors and the NYRA board of trustees.
New York media outlets have reported an indictment of the New York Racing Association on conspiracy, tax evasion, and fraud charges is expected, possibly as soon as Dec. 5. In an unusual deal, NYRA would be allowed to keep its franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga, according to the reports.
With scandals at the New York Racing Association having left a string of criminal convictions over the past couple years, the chairman of the Senate racing committee has proposed legislation to tighten state law to ensure convicted felons cannot obtain racing licenses in New York.
As the racing industry's breath-holding continues as it awaits the ongoing investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office, it is a question state and federal officials, as well as NYRA's boosters and competitors alike, have been increasingly pondering.
Video lottery terminals would be permitted at off-track betting facilities in New York under a plan being considered by state budget negotiators. The idea is being promoted to deal with another huge, multibillion-dollar budget looming over the next two years and a failure by racetracks to get VLTs up and running quickly enough to send revenue-sharing money to the state.
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."
New York regulators Oct. 21 gave final approval to a new rule authorizing the testing of post-race samples for performance-enhancing erythropoetin antibodies. The New York Racing and Wagering Board said the testing would begin Nov. 1, which would make New York the first state to require the test.