Thursday, July 15, 2010

Aqueduct Casino Project Again In Jeopardy

After New York again tried to get an acceptable bid in the Aqueduct casino project, the latest round appeared to go to Genting New York (beating SL Green and Penn National Gaming), AEG (now AEC) has sued to block the awarding of the rights to develop the site.
The politically connected Aqueduct Entertainment Company - which this year won the racino bid but was later deemed "unlicensable" by the Lottery Division - has sued to stop the replacement bidding from moving forward.

AEC, formerly Aqueduct Entertainment Group, claims it was cheated out of the project because lottery officials, at the behest of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), added new conditions after the bid was awarded.

The lottery is in the middle of reviewing the sole remaining proposal in the latest bidding round with an eye toward making a recommendation by Aug. 3.

State Supreme Court Justice Barry Kramer ordered the lottery to halt work until a July 23 hearing.
AEC should not have won the prior round because its bid was lower than other bids and was able to amend its bid to match other bids, and it did not comply with all the licensing requirements. Then, there's the political chicanery involved (and which is still being investigated at the state and federal level).

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