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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Proceed With Caution...

- Tom Precious is reporting on Bloodhorse.com that there appears to be a deal. Let's proceed with caution though, because we've read stories of an imminent settlement before; and Precious writes that the deal "is still coming together."

A source close to the talks said NYRA officials were still reviewing the terms of the final deal, but that its executives believe they can live with the terms of the tentative deal. [Bloodhorse]
According to the report, NYRA prevails on the new board, which would consist of 25 members, 14 to be appointed by NYRA. Negotiators cautioned that the final bill is still being reviewed and some terms still could be changed this afternoon.

The story also says that the agreement will include a higher split of VLT revenue to "other tracks in the state." That would presumably be great news for those affected by the shutdown of Vernon Downs. But we'll see if the harness horsemen get their 8.75%, and if "other tracks in the state" means that the NYRA horsemen are stuck with the 6.5% in the MOU.

And, more importantly, we'll see if there's really an agreement.

- Jeff Scott, writing in the Saratogian, is still wondering whether Joe Bruno has had something up his sleeve with respect to his opposition to the MOU.
Finally, what connection, if any, does Bruno have with Capital Play Inc, one of the four original bidders on the franchise?

Excelsior Racing and Empire Racing, the other two non-NYRA bidders, have effectively ceased to exist. The Australia-based Capital Play, however, is still very much on the scene and (according to Bruno) is one of two finalists being considered to run the proposed slots operation at Aqueduct. Bruno’s son Kenneth, by the way, is reportedly employed as a lobbyist for — you guessed it — Capital Play. [Saratogian]
Way back when this mess was just getting started, the young Bruno was employed as a lobbyist for Magna.

[UPDATE: Associated Press is also reporting that there's an agreement, confirmed by two state officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement hasn't been officially announced.

[UPDATE: The Head Chef writes: "Congrats to NYRA. I just heard on the news." On the news?? What station could she possibly be listening to? WOTB?]

6 Comments:

Teresa said...

WOTB? I'm salivating...Would that it were so...

jk said...

I thought Bruno's son stopped being a lobbyist a couple of years ago. Some of the earlier father/son dealings are exhibit A in the FBI/Bruno investigation. I am pretty sure NY State banned family members lobbying their elected official relatives a few years back. Bruno's son could be involved in a non-lobbyist capacity such as consultant etc.

alan said...

>>WOTB? I'm salivating...Would that it were so...

She heard it on NPR, and I should have figured. This is not a story that I've ever heard reported on local TV or radio.

And I don't recall reading a single article in the NY Times about it in the last week at least.

Mitch said...

WAMC, the Albany-based NPR affiliate, has regularly covered the franchise issue, and NPR may have picked it up.

Steve D said...

Maybe the delays were all just a conspiracy to help them avoid getting the 2009 Breeders' Cup!

Anonymous said...

I thought Bruno's son shared an office with someone else that was Capital Play's lobbyist? The Albany/Saratoga papers report what they want to condemn Bruno, so my guess is his son is no longer, and may have never been involved with the Aussies.