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View Full Version : Aqueduct Casino Deal Collapses... what else is new


hbeck
03-10-2009, 07:53 PM
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/aqueduct-casino-deal-collapses

Maybe we'll get to wait another 10 years?

BELMONT 6-6-09
03-10-2009, 08:23 PM
Typical that the state of New York simply cannot get things done. It's not NYRA's fault in this matter it is simply the total incompetence of the elected officials in Albany. This deal should have been completed a long time ago...but it's business as usual.

Track Collector
03-10-2009, 09:27 PM
It appears that MD officials went to the same school as NY officials, as they can't get it done either. :rolleyes:

The Hawk
03-10-2009, 10:28 PM
Typical that the state of New York simply cannot get things done. It's not NYRA's fault in this matter it is simply the total incompetence of the elected officials in Albany. This deal should have been completed a long time ago...but it's business as usual.

Is anything EVER NYRA's fault?

cj
03-11-2009, 12:35 AM
Is anything EVER NYRA's fault?

Didn't NYRA get the racing part of the business with the explicit condition they have nothing to do with slots? Is everything NYRA's fault?

samyn on the green
03-11-2009, 12:51 AM
We can rest assured that the experts in government are handling the casino deal. It has only been seven years since the slots have been approved at Aqueduct. I think the government is doing an efficent and profitable job on this project. We can all look forward to the governments stimulus results and hope they are just as good as the Aqueduct casino results. Didn't NYRA get the racing part of the business with the explicit condition they have nothing to do with slots? Is everything NYRA's fault?

FantasticDan
03-11-2009, 02:26 AM
The only reason why the deal has now fallen apart is that Delaware North couldn't gain the financing that would have given them the means to pay NYS the lump payment that was part of the agreement, and which was due in the next few weeks. Instead of extending the deadline for the payment (which DN claimed was all they needed), NYS decided to start the bid process all over yet again.

As an aside, Delaware North owns Finger Lakes, and they made this announcement regarding FL back in June 2008:

http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/national-news/2008/June/26/Capital-improvements-set-for-Finger-Lakes.aspx

As far as I can tell from my bi-monthly visits, none of those projects (which were supposed to start in 2008) have gotten off the ground at FL.

samyn on the green
03-11-2009, 03:00 AM
Back in 2003/2004 NYRA's choice to run the slots was MGM Grand. The Vegas gaming master was well on its way to starting the slots at AQU. The Pataki stepped in and stopped construction, then future disgraced gov client number nine exposed a mutuel clerk tax avoiding ring and MGM Grand along with a million a day in state revenue was out the door. Here we are 7 years later and no slots and we have a state billions in debt that could really use the revenue. Why is that revenue not there? So Pataki and client number nine's "boys" could get a piece of the action.

NY BRED
03-11-2009, 06:29 AM
Reading between the lines, I've told many a friend that a Casino
at the Big A made little sense based upon its location , whereas
Belmont appears to be a better choice based upon location.


"Presuming" an enclosed grandstand and various improvements
were provided by ownership, and the Long Island
Railroad reestablished service to the track, I believe revenue
could be increased therby making for better purses and racing.

I also believe the inner turf course could be eliminated
and an inner dirt and winterized track could be configured to offer
racing as currently offered at the Big A.

That said, The Big A could be closed and Belmont could become
a jewel, including the addition of a luxury hotel high end retail
stores etc..

Of course, based upon present economic conditions this
posting is little more than a pipe dream:bang:

pat
03-11-2009, 07:20 AM
There would be no better location for a casino than Aqueduct due to the fact that the location is excellent for travelers from all over the world .It is 3 stops on the Air Train shuttle which runs from JFK airport Also the air train goes to the A,F,E Trains and Approx,15 MTA buses and the LIRR which will take you anywhere IN NY you need to go without ever stepping into the Elements or even Renting a car You cant do that in VEGAS.Afull casino at AQU would be a mecca of gambling for people all over the world If its done right.

OTM Al
03-11-2009, 11:24 AM
The only reason why the deal has now fallen apart is that Delaware North couldn't gain the financing that would have given them the means to pay NYS the lump payment that was part of the agreement, and which was due in the next few weeks. Instead of extending the deadline for the payment (which DN claimed was all they needed), NYS decided to start the bid process all over yet again.

As an aside, Delaware North owns Finger Lakes, and they made this announcement regarding FL back in June 2008:

http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/national-news/2008/June/26/Capital-improvements-set-for-Finger-Lakes.aspx

As far as I can tell from my bi-monthly visits, none of those projects (which were supposed to start in 2008) have gotten off the ground at FL.

It was also torpedoed by the push for the Belmont casio which would potentially (likely) been run by someone else. Only the politicians seemed to believe that 2 casinos meant twice the revenues. Delaware North may have had financing trouble, but that put the nail in it.

Spendabuck85
03-11-2009, 11:44 AM
There would be no better location for a casino than Aqueduct due to the fact that the location is excellent for travelers from all over the world .It is 3 stops on the Air Train shuttle which runs from JFK airport Also the air train goes to the A,F,E Trains and Approx,15 MTA buses and the LIRR which will take you anywhere IN NY you need to go without ever stepping into the Elements or even Renting a car You cant do that in VEGAS.Afull casino at AQU would be a mecca of gambling for people all over the world If its done right.

In Vegas, you never have to leave the Airport to play the Slots.

slewis
03-11-2009, 11:55 AM
How's about this:

Since the track is no longer privately owned and since the state now owns the property..... How's about they (state) open a Casino at either location (or both) and ALL the proceeds go reduce the tax burden in the state (like it should).

Why should NYRA get a piece of a business they have nothing to do with??

I own a Dunkin Donuts store.... Do I get a piece of the new Starbucks business that opened down the street??

With the downturn in the economy, NYRA certainly wont live up to the benchmarks as part of the new agreement. This give the state leverage to tell them to shut up and run racing or step down as franchisee.

Oh, wait, I forgot about political contributions and clout on the NYRA board.
How things are done in the USA, oops.

Sorry PA, delete this post please.

The Hawk
03-12-2009, 12:08 AM
In Vegas, you never have to leave the Airport to play the Slots.

Not for this particular reason, but for the mood there in general, Vegas is truly the greatest city in the world.

Didn't NYRA get the racing part of the business with the explicit condition they have nothing to do with slots? Is everything NYRA's fault?

Absolutely. It's just funny that any time something negative happens the immediate response is "IT'S NOT NYRA'S FAULT!!!!"

NYRA officials have never made a bad decision, ever. It's everyone else that screws them up.

PaceAdvantage
03-12-2009, 08:47 PM
Sorry PA, delete this post please.Are you being serious?

slewis
03-12-2009, 09:39 PM
Are you being serious?


Well,

If anyone on this forum (or anywhere) can explain to me why ANY racerack is entitled to money generated by a racino or adjacent casino, I would like to debate this issue.

The only way any racing entity could stake a legitimate claim would be if they owned the property. Obviously, most tracks are privately owned, so this is the industry standard, (even though states could play hardball with privately owned racetracks as well and demand separate rental space on their grounds for a racino or they will revoke their license to operate a racetrack.)
But this is not the case in NY, (which owns the land, always did) and the state (NY) is in serious financial trouble (as we all know).
I dont understand the concept of trying to help one industry out at taxpayer expense when that industry is GAMBLING RELATED.
See PA, this is what makes this issue VERY different. It's the reason why the racino isn't operating already. Powerful people DONT want it.
Taking money out of the kitty so that Maiden races have purses of $75,000 makes no sense to me, (and I've been involved in trying to win maiden purses)
What I WOULD do for the racing industry is the following:
I would mandate by law that above every VLT terminal there is a TV with racing and ONLY racing, along with a built in betting module.
If someone wants to play slots, so be it, if they want to bet the 3rd race, it's at their finger tips too. Taxpayers ring the cash register either way.

I feel very strongly about this issue despite being in the racing business.
ALL forms of gambling are state regulated first, and the state of NY should set a strong agenda here.

NY BRED
03-13-2009, 05:47 AM
[QUOTE=pat]There would be no better location for a casino than Aqueduct


Pat:

With all due respect, anyone coming into the Big A to play VLT's on
the way home or to midtown NY if they are arriving from anywhere in this world
isn't directing the limo or cab driver to make a quick stop at the Big A
for a quick fix on the VLT.:jump:

Besides, depending upon the time of year, Belmont would pose a more
scenic site, and is about 15 minutes from JFK ,and a lot easier to get
to from Laguardia .

People/visitors traveling infrom manhattan would feel alot safer on the special
LIRR train(presuming it repoened) than going via subway, at least
in my opinion and based upon the stories I've heared from friends..

One the plus side, if you need building materials I believe Home Depot is sitting on the Rockaway Blvd side of the track lot which has already been
downsized due to lack of attendance:D

PaceAdvantage
03-13-2009, 08:22 PM
But this is not the case in NY, (which owns the land, always did) and the state (NY) is in serious financial trouble (as we all know).You conveniently pass this sentence by as if nobody will take the time to challange that there was much controversy involved in the question of who actually owned the land NYRA conducts its racing upon. The issue never landed in a court of law, thus it was never proven that NYRA did not own the land they claimed to own.

The NYRA said all along that they held title to the land and that they paid property taxes (when they could afford to anyway) on the land. This was a compelling argument in NYRA's favor that was never proven to be false as far as I know.

Since it was never proven that NYRA did NOT own the land, we can conclude that part of the DEAL the NYRA received for TURNING OVER their claim to the land included a right to a percentage of VLT revenues.

You act as if NYRA has no right to a cut of the revenue, but if they turned over their claim as title-holder of the land to the state in exchange for a cut of the VLT revenue, then a business deal is a business deal, is it not? The state avoids a long, drawn out court battle and the NYRA gets something of value in exchange for something of value.

rokitman
03-13-2009, 09:36 PM
I'm glad it collapsed, and hope it collapses for good. Bloodsucking slots players is not the solution for anything. We need innovative & creative ideas not parasitic & consumptive ones. Our government and related organizations need to get out of the business of making losers out it its citizens for their "solutions."

slewis
03-13-2009, 11:43 PM
You conveniently pass this sentence by as if nobody will take the time to challange that there was much controversy involved in the question of who actually owned the land NYRA conducts its racing upon. The issue never landed in a court of law, thus it was never proven that NYRA did not own the land they claimed to own.

The NYRA said all along that they held title to the land and that they paid property taxes (when they could afford to anyway) on the land. This was a compelling argument in NYRA's favor that was never proven to be false as far as I know.

Since it was never proven that NYRA did NOT own the land, we can conclude that part of the DEAL the NYRA received for TURNING OVER their claim to the land included a right to a percentage of VLT revenues.

You act as if NYRA has no right to a cut of the revenue, but if they turned over their claim as title-holder of the land to the state in exchange for a cut of the VLT revenue, then a business deal is a business deal, is it not? The state avoids a long, drawn out court battle and the NYRA gets something of value in exchange for something of value.

PA,

If you choose to believe that NYRA had the trump card here and the lawyers had the State govt by the balls, you are free (but naive) to believe that.

I'm smart enough to know how the political process works these days and who paid what to whom to get 25 yrs of bliss.
But get something straight, in times of crisis, all bets should be off, and this state IS in crisis.
When Patterson took over, the first thing he said regarding the NYRA deal was that it made no sense why the state agreed to it, but he would abide by it.
If I could, I would make the biggest bet of my racetrack life that if some investigative (20-20 type) reporter dug into what took place after Spitzer, the piece of shit, did a 360 on the franchise, you'd have more lights and sirens then a 5 alarm fire in Midtown.
I mean who's kidding who here. The state contols the licensing, could envoke eminient domain, heck they probably could have just taken the property for un paid taxes.. which was a violation of the franchise agreement in the first place. What would NYRA do with this land if the state pulled the racing plug?
Sell to real estate developers?? lol. The Legislature could stop that immediately with a simple change in zoning laws. No, it wasn't NYRA that had the state by the balls, if the state wanted it was visa-versa.

I laugh when I think about this because I know people who've sued the Gov't and have told me how difficult it can be to win.
Tell you what.. let's get a list of the NYRA bd members and their political contributions and post them.
That might put this truly to rest. Im comfy with my theory, and bet.
I stand by what I say... Racing in this country (and NY) is a personal playground for the wealthy and powerful, and they use that influence at the expense of taxpayers and gamblers.

PaceAdvantage
03-14-2009, 05:05 AM
It always helps to look at circumstances from more than one angle. Even at 4 in the morning.
That's all I was trying to do. Present another side of the argument.

As far as I can recall, MGM started building the VLT parlor at Aqueduct YEARS AGO, but was stopped dead in its tracks by the very state gov't that you now claim needs all the help NYRA can give them regarding share of non-existent VLT revenues.

If it wasn't for NY state gov't in the first place, the VLTs would have been up and running a long time ago, managed by the very capable MGM Corp, and NY State would be enjoying at least a fraction of the projected revenue (which we all know will be far less than projected...just look at Yonkers for example).

samyn on the green
03-14-2009, 05:09 AM
The fad of slots have worn thin. The market has been saturated and the demographic that plays theses things is dwindling in NY. Aqueduct has missed the boat on slots. The Yonkers slot parlor is consistently empty and not a fun place (http://gregcalabrese.blogspot.com/2008/07/trip-to-yonkers-raceway.html). It always helps to look at circumstances from more than one angle. Even at 4 in the morning.
That's all I was trying to do. Present another side of the argument.

As far as I can recall, MGM started building the VLT parlor at Aqueduct YEARS AGO, but was stopped dead in its tracks by the very state gov't that you now claim needs all the help NYRA can give them regarding share of non-existent VLT revenues.

If it wasn't for NY state gov't in the first place, the VLTs would have been up and running a long time ago, managed by the very capable MGM Corp, and NY State would be enjoying at least a fraction of the projected revenue (which we all know will be far less than projected...just look at Yonkers for example).

slewis
03-14-2009, 09:26 AM
It always helps to look at circumstances from more than one angle. Even at 4 in the morning.
That's all I was trying to do. Present another side of the argument.

As far as I can recall, MGM started building the VLT parlor at Aqueduct YEARS AGO, but was stopped dead in its tracks by the very state gov't that you now claim needs all the help NYRA can give them regarding share of non-existent VLT revenues.

If it wasn't for NY state gov't in the first place, the VLTs would have been up and running a long time ago, managed by the very capable MGM Corp, and NY State would be enjoying at least a fraction of the projected revenue (which we all know will be far less than projected...just look at Yonkers for example).

PA,

You hit the nail on the head here. Remember that it was Barry Schwartz who was responsible for cutting the deal with a much more competent MGM then Del gaming.
Where I will slightly correct you on your post is that I would argue that it was "the very same NY state Govt", that squashed MGM. It was Elliot Spitzer, for his own political pole vault, that was responsible, and many were afraid to get in his way and stop his "steamroll".
I can tell you from good sources that Spitzer hated Barry Schwartz.
At that time, if you can recall, 9/11 had left the city and state in a financial bind. Schwartz used his influence and solid business backround to make the case in Albany, and he won. Bloomberg had taken the reigns from Giuliani, so he would have gone along (unlike today where he is against it). The only guy you would have to suade would be Sheldon Silver, and with the city broke, he would have caved.
I was walking around the track telling people "if it doesen't get done quickly, it wont. Politicos dont want it, but they'll tolerate it because they're so broke. If the economy turns quickly, the deal will crash". History.
History has repeated itself. The State and City are in a bind. But Bloomberg and Silver now know they got through the mess last time and they can do it again without gambling, so they'll fight it (even if they say they wont) to it's death.
Samyn in the next post makes a good point. Stats have shown that these racinos dont do as well as projected (Im sure Bloomberg, who in my opinion is every bit as good as Buffett, knows this), although this one has a much greater demographic then Yonkers so it's debateable.
But the bottom line here is that the state should break it's deal with NYRA regarding VLT"S, and all proceeds to any Casino go to the Govt. When NYRA needs help in a few years (and trust me, this game is in SERIOUS trouble, just from a horse population standpoint) and they will, the state should and will be there to keep the sport alive with taxpayer money, just like last time.

Thomas Roulston
03-15-2009, 05:19 AM
So what happens to the grandstand now?