- Considering Governor Paterson's emphatic statements and urgency regarding the state budget, I guess it wouldn't be surprising if Odato's note on the Capitol Confidential blog that he's "leaning sharply" towards Delaware North is true. The company is offering the most up front, some $370 million for the licensing fee. SL Green/Hard Rock is offering $250 million, Capital Play just $100 million, short of the $250 million envisioned (and budgeted) by the state. As of this writing, I've seen no followup stories about this.
Thanks for the interesting comments. This is the post that Odato wrote in June which stated that Capital Play had the advantage. However, that was before the NYCOTB crisis was resolved, and at a time when Capital Play had floated the idea of taking over the operation and moving its office to Queens; an idea which appealed to Paterson....Bruno and.....Silver.
However, it is true that John Sabini, the head of the Racing and Wagering Board, has favored Capital Play as well. Their proposal is backloaded - what the state would be missing out on at the beginning, would be in theory made up for by ambitious plans to build a lavish hotel/retail/entertainment center, and their usual admirably ambitious but likely impractical ideas, in this case a direct link from the JFK waiting room to the racino entrance.
The company says it will give the state $23-billion over the life of the contract, more than twice the $10-billion Delaware North projects based on higher VLT win-per-day earnings. [Thoroughbred Times]Capital Play's Karl O'Farrell, before he stepped aside to facilitate the state's screening process, said in a June interview with the local Queens Courier that Delaware North's proposal was effectively "slots in a box."
They “promised more money initially,” O’Farrell claimed, “but their plan for a ‘Racino’ only is not a great economic generator for the neighborhood.”A couple of commenters wondered if former Governor Spitzer is somehow still involved; one reader pointed out that a key Spitzer aide - in fact, former communications director Darren Dopp - has been reported to be working for Delaware North. I'd like to see who else is lobbying for whom....perhaps that reader who got into the On-Line Lobbyist Registration System can give us a clue if he's still around. Why we need a password to see who's lobbying our elected officials, I don't really understand.
I don't personally have reason to suspect any grand conspiracy involving the ex-governor here. However, it may be worth pointing out that Dopp has refused to abide by the charges brought against him in the (original) Troopergate case by the Commission on Public Integrity; and that some feel that that committee, and its chairman Herbert Teitelbaum, in an effort to protect Spitzer, unfairly disregarded Dopp's testimony with respect to the ex-governor's involvement. Whatsmore, Dopp is the man responsible for some of the more inflammatory quotes and actions attributed to Spitzer, including the famous coffee spitting incident.
So, say the state does pick Delaware North, when it may have once favored Capital Play (which has a more ambitious plan if less money offered up front), and then, just say we see Dopp suddenly drop his fight and pay the $10,000 fine. Then yeah, I'd see where some people might get suspicious.
Another reader questions whether Delaware North will be able to come up with the promised $370 million given the present conditions. And of course, nothing would be surprising in this environment. As to whether they have the cash, we have no idea. Delaware North is a private company, so we have no access to their financial statements.