- Just received this statement from NYRA C. Steven Duncker:
Over the weekend, NYRA met with representatives of the State government and reviewed drafts of a proposed new franchise bill in a bid to resolve the franchise stalemate. Unfortunately, this review process indicated that the franchise discussions are going backward, not forward. The areas of concern continue to be the economic model for the future of racing in New York And governance.In addition to obviously not boding well for the continuation of racing this week, this is quite interesting in that, by raising the issue of the broken business model of thoroughbred racing in New York, it clearly seems to be tying the consolidation of the OTB's into NYRA as a condition of reaching a settlement. And that's not something I've heard from NYRA in the past. Seems like they're raising the stakes as the deadline draws nearer.
It is essential that this legislation provides a proper framework to ensure that New York thoroughbred racing maintains its leadership position for the life of the new franchise. The bill does not provide the proper business model and economic terms that permits NYRA to emerge from bankruptcy nor does it correct the broken business model of thoroughbred racing in New York, a broken model that can only worsen and further imperil this industry under the legislation currently proposed.
While we agree that the NYRA Board should be streamlined, as we earlier resolved with the Governor in a Memorandum of Understanding last September, the newly proposed structure would politicize the Board and endanger the very reforms that have been accomplished to date. Such a significant step backwards would serve neither the best interests of the racing industry nor the people of New York State.
We find the current state of negotiation to be pointing irrevocably towards a cessation of racing this week.