Bids for the Big A racino are due today, but don't expect a blanket photo finish.
Based on interviews with representatives, several cannot commit to the formal bid because of fiduciary duties – they can’t guarantee they would get a $300 million down payment back even while they’re on the hook of paying NYRA’s debt to the state at $2 million monthly. [Capitol Confidential]Delaware North has already confirmed that they are out, and they may not be the last to do so. I was told by someone who was working with the company that it "wasn't even a close call." In a statement, company President William Bissett explains:
The Lottery’s RFP requires that the prospective developer pay a minimum upfront licensing fee of $300 million while assuming a number of very substantial business risks. These risks include the unknown amount of time that will be taken by New York State to complete its SEQR review process and to obtain all other required approvals so that construction of the gaming facility can begin, the uncertainty surrounding the State’s ability to fund the $250 million Capital Construction Grant that is intended to finance construction of the new gaming facility, the indefinite amount of financial support that the developer will be required to provide to the New York Racing Association, and the uncertainty surrounding the future expansion of competitive gaming operations at Belmont Park or other locations.