“People who have sold this idea of VLTts say $400 a day in revenue. It hasn’t happened anywhere in the state - not at Yonkers . . . Monticello. None of them have broken $200 a day. To put more machines five minutes from the existing authorization is only going to provide a saturation of machines . . . I really don’t understand, and the case has not been made to me . … as to why these machines at Belmont are so critical to the operation of the State of New York.”I have it on good authority that the take at Yonkers is over $200 - it was reported to be $230 in this column from October - but Silver certainly makes a reasonable point given the disappointing VLT numbers we've seen. If there's only to be one racino, I personally think that Belmont makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons. Besides it size and accessibility via the railroad, an upscale establishment at Belmont could be marketed to the affluent Long Island suburbs just to its east; people who can actually afford it. I could see my parents making the trip from nearby Manhasset to see Steve and Edyie at Belmont; but probably not in Ozone Park.
OK, maybe in Ozone Park too. The fact is that without slots, Aqueduct would probably shut down, which would be a disaster for New York racing as far as I'm concerned, so of course it has to have them. Silver is looking to tie other issues in with the franchise, and will certainly demand a heavy price for his giving in on the issue.
Another reader wrote: I've heard rumor that the actual horsemen's cut may be closer to 4% when it's all said and done under the Governor's proposal.
It's true that the effective rate may turn out to be less than 6.5%; though not, at least how it was explained to me, quite that drastically. I have a detailed mathematical analysis that I won't reproduce here, but I can send you the Word document if you drop me a line.
- Silver told the local Albany Capital News 9 today:
"Let me now make it clear. The negotiations are now moving forward in a positive direction. Details are being worked out."- Curlin is scheduled to work out on Sunday.