Thursday, June 03, 2010

At the Starting Gate: Rebidding For the Aqueduct Casino Underway

Some are familiar faces, but all six bidders are seeking to capture the golden ring of holding the rights to build and operate a new casino at Aqueduct race track in Queens.
Six prospective bidders have furnished the state Division of Lottery $1 million required to be considered for the bidding on rights to build and operate an Aqueduct Race Track racino, including two new groups not seen in past competitions but well-known nevertheless.

Genting New York LLC, the majority owner of Empire Resorts, has joined the fray. Chief Executive Lim Kok Thay has been quoted that his company has been eyeing opportunities in the United States. Genting acquired a majority of Monticello Raceway last year. It is a huge Malaysia-based casino operator.

Also on the list of potential bidders is Empire City Casino-Yonkers Raceway. The group is tied to the Rooney family, which runs the state’s biggest racino at Yonkers Raceway, and also is long-time owners of the PIttsburgh Steelers.

Others are Clairvest Group, which was the financial arm of Aqueduct Entertainment Group. AEG had won the last bid although it was later disqualified by Lottery. Other repeat entrants are Delaware North & Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, Penn National and SL Green Realty.

Delaware North won a bid two years ago, but wouldn’t come up with the $370 million winning bid.

The bids are due after a conference June 8, and a minimum down payment of $300 million is required by Lottery. The $1 million required already is returnable should any of the teams bow out.
Gov. Paterson needs the money - the $300 million to help close the massive state deficits, and had figured on the prior round of bidding and the winning bid in his budget scenarios. When the last round of bidding resulted in all kinds of allegations of corruption and criminality, the money never appeared. Indeed, the first round of bidding (we're now on the third attempt) resulted in a bid where the winning couldn't come up with the $370 million.

No comments: