Tom Precious is reporting on Bloodhorse.com that Penn National feels that it is still in the running at the Big A by virtue of its offer of $250 million in a non-contingency, upfront payment.
“There are no strings attached to the $250 million," said Christopher McErlean, vice president of racing for PNGI, which operates six tracks, four of which have gaming with 25,000 total slot machines or VLTs.The company says they have money, and then some. “We now have $600 million cash in the bank....We have no financing issues in making this project happen." Penn National, my longshot pick for the racino, has no partners for this project, local or otherwise, and maybe, at this point, their lack of any local entanglements is a good thing.
Unless any of the other bidders’ offers have changed the past couple weeks, the upfront offer by PNGI is at least $100 million more than several of its competitors. The company is also offering to open a temporary casino within eight months of signing any deal with the state. It would feature up to the 2,000 of the 4,500 VLTs the track has been approved to operate. [Bloodhorse]
Their offer however is of the 'slots in a box' variety that Delaware North had been criticized for in the past. No fancy hotel here, at least to start. But, if the governor is looking down the road to a possible Shinnecock casino at Belmont, then maybe the idea of a simple operation, run by a solid, experienced operator promising a quick start-up, that wouldn't compete, at least with respect to it being a 'destination,' with a more ambitious Belmont casino, could be appealing. And that's not to mention, of course, the quick cash infusion.