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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Racing To Go On...... [?] [Further Updates]

- As already noted in the comments section (indeed, early on, before the news hit the wires) the State Racing and Wagering Board has declined to take any action on a temporary license for NYRA, declaring that it lacks the authority to do so. "They should have called us and asked us and we wouldn't have had a meeting today," [panel chairman Dan] Hogan said. [Albany Times-Union] Sounds like he's pissed that he had to get out of bed. Hogan declared that it's the Oversight Board which has the ultimate authority to grant the extension; and that Board has already signed off on it.

According to Matt Hegarty in the Form, the meeting lasted all of four minutes, and the board unanimously agreed that it needn't take any action at all. As a result, NYRA will not be forced to shut down after Dec. 31, when its franchise expires. [DRF] Start making some wall space for those calendars.

Closed door negotiations on the permanent extension continued on Friday. Spokesmen for Silver, Bruno and the governor all acknowledged ongoing negotiations for a possible long-term solution but stopped short of providing details [Albany Times Union]. Hegarty notes in the Form that "some progress" was made towards resolving differences between Bruno and the governor.

[UPDATE: This commenter feels that Hegarty's take is wrong...thanx for the input. Newsday is also reporting that the extension is approved via the Board's action, or lack thereof...]

[FURTHER UPDATE: Hegarty has now amended his story. The headline now reads: Good possibility Aqueduct will run Jan. 1. Oh man....

During an emergency meeting on Saturday that lasted four minutes, members of the board unanimously agreed with Robert Feuerstein, the board’s legal counsel, that it did not need to approve the agreement in order to allow NYRA to continue to operate. Board members said that as a result, NYRA will not be forced to shut down after Dec. 31.

However, NYRA’s president, Charles Hayward, said on Saturday morning that the association’s legal counsel needed to make sure that the board’s action was sufficient under applicable racing law to allow Aqueduct to continue to race on Jan. 1.

“I think it’s a very good possibility” that NYRA will open on Jan. 1, Hayward said. “But we want to make sure we’re doing everything right under the law and that our rights are protected.” [DRF]
So, still put some room aside for the calendars....but you may want to have an alternative, just in case.]

[ADDITIONAL UPDATE: I'm going to the track! :-D ]


Anonymous said...

pnpiyaHaggerty is wrong.

The Oversight Board has the ability, pursuant to resolution, to enter into an agreement with NYRA to conduct racing. That was not before the RWB today.

NYRA was apparently seeking a racing license from the RWB to operate the racetracks, without having to enter a management agreement with the Oversight Board.

I believe we are back a square one: NYRA needs to enter into an agreement with the Oversight Board - which won't ultimately require approval of the RWB. Unless there is agreement with between the parties, guess we'll all be limited to watching football on New Year's Day.

Published reports from yesterday indicated that the Oversight Board permitted NYRA to seek a racing license. There is indication NYRA and the Oversight Board have agreement on a management contract.

Anonymous said...

Is this a correct interpretation?


Back at the starting gate for NYRA
12/29/2007 11:44:55 AM
By: Web Staff

ALBANY, N.Y. -- NYRA says it's back to square one Saturday after a meeting with the State Racing and Wagering Board. The board has decided not to vote on NYRA's application for a racing license.

Friday, NYRA reached an agreement with the State Racing Oversight Committee to continue running the racing franchise through January 23rd. A provision of that agreement was that they seek a racing license.

But during Saturday's meeting, the board ruled that it didn't legally need to take any action in order for racing to continue, effectively denying the license.

Gaming and wagering officials say the Oversight board has the authority to keep racing going temporarily, without a license but whether or not that will happen remains unclear.

All sides have until Monday at midnight to decide if the temporary agreement can be upheld.

Anonymous said...

Hogan sounds pissed? We could use a few more people who actually get up out of bed to take action. The racing board has had two public meetings this week (I watched both live on the internet) and on both days instead of being an obstacle, they correctly interpreted the law.

This was all a last ditch effort to shift the blame to someone else so why not pick on the good old racing and wagering board?

Plus, with NYRA's announcement yesterday that they have a new deal with their arch enemies at Churchill Magna (track net media)
from the Evil Empire Racing, I would guess that a deal is imminent.

And if Hogan is correct that the racing board wasn't consulted, then I think he has every reason to be "pissed."

I also watched Charlie H on COTB right after the meeting -- the show with Veitch -- and Charlie was quite complimentary of Hogan and the board.

Anonymous said...

I am not a lawyer, but the way I see it, here is the conundrum. the same state law that gives the Oversight Board control of racing after Dec. 31 says that NYRA loses all rights to the land at that date. The danger for NYRA is that, legally, they lose their land claim (or it is weakened) if they deal with the Oversight Board.