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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Here We Go Again

- As the memory of Saratoga starts to fade, so will NYRA's cash flow. Charles Hayward told the state's oversight panel that NYRA will run out of cash at the end of the year, in a scenario similar to that of last year. NYRA was prepared to go to bankruptcy court before being bailed out by the state, who may have been leery of the court ruling on the crucial land ownership issue. However, if the Ad Hoc committee recommends later this month that Empire or Excelsior be awarded the franchise, NYRA may already be in court over the issue by the time the money runs out.

The oversight board won't release the remaining $19 million of the bailout loan until MGM "commits to the project." Hayward insists that the process is being held up by the state Lottery. "MGM would love to get started." [Bloodhorse]

And why would they possibly NOT be committed to the project? Why would anyone possibly think that MGM isn't champing at the bit to open a casino in New York City, where they will have, at least for the time being, no competition at all?? So I'm not buying the state's explanation for holding up the money at all. And consider also that MGM earned the job without a competitive bidding process, and I'm still not totally clear as to how NYRA ended up getting away with that. But in any event, you KNOW that the terms must be quite favorable to MGM.

And those terms are something that Empire's Jeff Perlee is quite interested to see, considering that they will be bound to the deal should they win the franchise.

Perlee said that all prospective bidders and the public should be allowed to see the NYRA-MGM management contract and how it compares to other VLT deals in the racing industry. The deal specifies how much the VLT operator will get from net gaming revenues.

"There remains a lot of questions," he said. "No one can make that determination until details of the contract are known. Anyone and everyone has got to see that contract.

"If we're asked to be bound by something, we'd at least like to take a look at it. Maybe this isn't such a good deal for the state." [Thoroughbred Times]
Perlee has a valid point here. But perhaps he should have been asking these questions before the franchise bids were submitted instead of spending time wooing potential poison pills like Churchill and Magna.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonder what you think of the new NYRA web site presentation.

I note two immediate problems;

First, scratches are listed alphabetically without program numbers.

Second, they have reversed the odds grids on the Live Tote function, now opposite every other grid in the industry. Must have been created by someone with no racing experience and/or who reads backwards. Have a headache already monitoring the Double probables.