- A federal bankruptcy judge dismissed a motion by a creditors to vacate NYRA's reorganization plan.
In its motion, Plainfield [Special Situations Master Fund Limited] argued that NYRA's reorganization plan was "completely illusory" because of its reliance on legislative approval. The attorneys maintained that because the plan is opposed by Bruno, NYRA's franchise would not be renewed. [Daily Racing Form]I imagine that's a novel point for bankruptcy court, if an honest assessment of politics in Albany. But one can be a lonely number when there are three men in the room, and I think ol' Joe is going to find himself in the position of potentially being "the man who stopped racing." So I still believe he'll back down.
James Odato reported in the Albany Times-Union earlier on Tuesday that Bruno and Spitzer aides....have discussed compromises that include allowing NYRA to continue running the tracks, citing "people briefed about the discussions."
The parties also have discussed more legislative appointees on the NYRA board, greater oversight and stricter performance reviews.I believe that the eventual settlement will be along these lines, and that they'll be plenty of appointments for Joe. I don't think he's in any danger of losing his box seats at Saratoga either.
- Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio has asked the state Supreme Court to kill the gambling compact agreed to by Governor Crist and the Seminole tribe. Rubio claims that it was unconstitutional for Crist to cut the legislature out of the process.
Rubio's petition also noted the compact allows blackjack and baccarat games on Indian land, even though they are illegal everywhere else in the state. Under the agreement, if the state allows competing Broward County racetracks to host blackjack and baccarat, or, if it approves slot machines outside of South Florida, the Seminoles no longer have to pay.According to the Miami Herald, the House has some precedent on its side.
"The Compact overrides existing laws, raises revenue, and comprehensively regulates gaming by the Seminole Tribe. It is unmistakably legislative in nature.." [Sun-Sentinal]
At least five other states have filed similar lawsuits against governors that entered into compacts with Indian tribes without legislative approval. In every case, the legislatures prevailed when the courts concluded that the expansion of gambling is a policymaking decision restricted to lawmakers, not governors.The pari-mutuels in Broward County, and in Miami-Dade, where voters will decide on slots on Jan 29, are certainly watching with interest. There has been speculation that they will themselves sue to stop the compact. With some (as in, Gulfstream) already struggling mightily with their slots, the thought of the Seminoles having Class III machines and paying far lower taxes than the 50% rate applied to the tracks can not be encouraging. Whatsmore, the agreement would in effect bar the tracks from ever having blackjack or baccarat.
Under the agreement, if the state allows competing Broward County racetracks to host blackjack and baccarat, or, if it approves slot machines outside of South Florida, the Seminoles no longer have to pay.