Governor Paterson has issued yet another request for "final" offers from the six bidders for the Aqueduct racino, with a deadline of Nov 6; this came to me from a person with knowledge of the deliberations, and was then confirmed in a report by Tom Precious on Bloodhorse.com. Here, Precious also confirms the information I reported here last week regarding the Senate Democrats' support of the Aqueduct Entertainment Group. I think I deserved one of those "as first reported by the blog Left at the Gate" credits on that one, doncha think?
The letter includes an important caveat: details on how the bidders would be able to pay the state $200 million within 30 days of signing a deal.Seems almost like a partial do-over, some two months after the Labor Day weekend on which many of us anticipated a final decision.
The new demand would, on the surface, knock some of the bidding groups out of contention because their offers do not include such quick payments to the state. But the letter from the governor’s counsel, Peter Kiernan, was being interpreted by bidders as a final chance to reconfigure their previous offers to ensure the big upfront payment can be made.
Moreover, the letter from Kiernan said bidders, by Nov. 6, must provide “conclusive evidence” how they can ensure payment of “$200 million or more” to the state within 30 days of signing a memorandum of understanding for the casino project. [Bloodhorse.com]
Via reader jk comes this press release from Penn National regarding an agreement with the hotel union, alluded to in the Bloodhorse report last week; as well as a partnership with Russell Simmons’ Rush Communications of NYC.
The agreement with Russell Simmons’ Rush Communications of NYC brings together Penn National’s unparalleled financial stability and liquidity, role as one of the nation’s largest investors in the re-development of pari-mutuel facilities and operator of successful horse racing facilities, with Rush’s local resources, community advocacy and focus on corporate social responsibility. [Yahoo]This is the first attempt I'm aware of by Penn National to involve a local and/or minority group in its bid. The group still appears to lack any local political entanglements though, which might help its chances as a safe, neutral choice, and one with ample experience, plenty of cash and a solid balance sheet.