Tom Precious reports on Bloodhorse.com on the situation in Albany as lawmakers attempt to devise a rescue, bailout, temporary fix, or whatever you want to call it, to keep NYC OTB going....for now, anyway.
Either way, the final agreement will not resolve the OTB’s longstanding problems—or those facing other OTBs or the larger questions of destructive competition between OTBs and tracks. Instead, it will merely punt those long-term issues until a year from now and after a new governor takes office in January. [Bloodhorse.com]Hmmm, a new governor, eh? Can't imagine that the governor's mansion is going to be nearly as entertaining once Governor Paterson is gone. Well, unless this guy gets elected. Or...this one. (Sad commentary on the state of NY politics that Republicans actually have to recruit clowns like these from the Democrats.) Of course, barring some unforeseen event or prostitution scandal, the next governor is nearly certain to be Attorney General Andrew Cuomo....and who the hell knows what he thinks about racing and OTB's and casino gambling? In fact, who knows what the hell he thinks about anything? I'm sure he'll let us know once he's good and ready.
Precious reports that the situation is extremely fluid; seems it changed about a half dozen times even as he was writing his article.
In the past 48 hours, the terms of the deal has moved from cutting NYCOTB’s statutory payments to the industry from 15% to 48% and now back to 15%. Officials warned that number could change again in the coming hours.The tracks and horsemen are naturally trying to resist any haircut. Seems absolutely incredible that OTB has successfully resisted the idea of a significant thinning of its bloated management ranks.
However, word is that NYRA would be compensated and sustained by a $17 million loan against the eventual slots money it will earn from the mythical racino at Aqueduct.
The $17 million is coming from $250 million the state would raise by issuing bonds for the Aqueduct project. The $250 million has been promised to the operator of the racino and is supposed to be used to build the VLT facility. [Capitol Confidential]Well, duh! What took them so long? The state is obligated by the franchise agreement to keep NYRA afloat given its failure to name the racino operator. This would have been done long ago if not for the misdirected enmity towards NYRA, and the self-serving bashing that we've seen from politicians either too ignorant or stubborn to acknowledge the real reasons for its plight. (And yeah, the threat to shut down before the Belmont likely didn't help either.) I've maintained all along, with only occasional doubt and wavering, that Albany would not allow NYRA to fail, and a loan of this type is logical and inevitable in my view. A no-brainer, really, even for politicians without them.