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Monday, July 28, 2008

Don't Panic

- Governor Paterson is planning on addressing the people of New York State, to discuss the dire financial straits we find ourselves in, the inadequacy of the $122 billion budget passed in Albany in the spring and the spending cuts that will inevitably result.

"Because of the severity of the situation like this, I want to talk to New Yorkers personally," the governor said Monday after a meeting the New York City financial control board.

"We don't have to panic," he added. "There are ways we can respond and we're going to have to respond immediately." [Newsday]
Other than NY1, I'm not sure who is going to televise the address - his aides hope [it] will be televised by public and cable news stations. [NY Post] But I wouldn't think that more than a relative handful of people will be watching. I can't be the first to say that it's like "the blind leading the blind," can I?

You could see this coming, because last week Paterson delivered an extremely downbeat assessment of the economy and its particular effects on Wall St. The governor asserted that bonuses there could decline by 20%, and each 10 percent reduction in bonus pay costs the state $350 million in tax revenues.
Predicting the state could lose an estimated $1.7 billion from slumping profits for Wall Street's financial firms, he forecast severe state budget cuts.

"The reality is that there is a tremendous effect that income taxes, property taxes, rising fuel prices, rising food prices and all of the debt that the state has undergone is going to have in terms of our governance," Paterson said. [Reuters]
Those numbers make the $1 million a day the state is pissing away due to the lack of a racino at Aqueduct seem relatively insignificant. And with Paterson seemingly consumed by the bigger picture, one wonders if we'll have a decision on the racino operator by the end of July, the latest target date from the governor's office I had seen in print.

The NY Post reported today that the new state-operated NYCOTB wants to get into the VLT business.
These terminals - which would require legislative approval - could lead to entertainment complexes in the city created by casino bigs like Steve Wynn and Donald Trump.

"We could do something really out of the box, which instead of talking about pennies, we could be talking about literally billions of dollars, and that would be to bring VLTs into our three teletheaters in New York," David Cornstein, chairman of the new state-controlled NYC Off-Track Betting Corp., told The Post.
That certainly raises a lot of questions, specifically with respect to what seemed to be a newfound spirit of moving towards conslidating the operations of OTB and the racing operator. The last thing NYRA needs is competition in the form of Trump Casinos in Manhattan! I think that the prospect of luring many Manhattanites out to Ozone Park on the A train is a dubious one to start with; you can write it off entirely if a plan like this became a reality.

However, if the state moves to consolidate the racing and wagering business, and if NYRA and the horsemen get a fair share of a Manhattan VLT windfall, then the plan could be beneficial to most everyone involved. So, how about first things first?

4 Comments:

jk said...

If they put a nice simulcast facility in Manhattan there is plenty of money to be made.

The only reason NY racing will lose out to a casino is casinos are nice places to go to and OTB's and racetracks are old and run down.

Make the OTB's as nice as casinos and business will go up.

SaratogaSpa said...

they do it well with the Turf clubs in Philadelphia and deleware area-build it here in NY and they will come.

Winston said...

If you're on an airplane and the Captain comes over the PA and starts off with "Don't panic.."

What the hell do you think you are going to do?

Anonymous said...

The economy won't improve much with the high price of energy. The idiot Speaker Pelosi said yesterday that she is trying to save the planet. Don't expect more oil anytime soon. Don't expect alternatives anytime in the next decade. Government is way too big with far too much in the way of taxes and control of the citizens.

Bob from NJ