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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Governor Ran End-Around Union

Jim Odato reports in the Albany Times-Union that it was opposition to the NYRA loan by the DC-37 union which represents OTB workers that prompted Governor Paterson to include the measure in the budget extender. The union complained that NYRA was getting a bailout but OTB was not, several government officials said. That made the bill's prospects in the Senate uncertain. You know, because, of course the Senate wouldn't want to pass a bill opposed by a union representing workers of an entity that tried to dupe them into screwing over the rest of the industry by pleading poverty when they really had money in the bank. Right?

NYRA is to repay the $25 million loan by March 31, 2011, or 30 days after the execution of a memorandum of understanding with the operator of a video lottery facility at Aqueduct racetrack.. Since the Lottery is supposed to recommend an operator to Governor Paterson by August 3 (and because, for reasons explained previously, the recommendation is likely to be quickly agreed to by the other two leaders), NYRA should be able to pay the loan back early, like Chase and Goldman Sachs, rather than go to the deadline. After that date, the Lottery would collect any remaining loan balance from the vendor fee that would other be due on or after that date to the New York Racing Association.

Of course, all of this presumes that there actually will be, if not actual VLT's in place by next March (only a realistic possibility with a temporary slots facility), at least an operator who will front NYRA the money within 30 days as a loan of its own against slots revenue.

And those excitable parks advocates can't be too happy at this point in time either, as the legislature failed to approve a measure to reopen the 41 shuttered parks by the holiday weekend. But at least they can go to the track.


jk said...

The park people should be pleased, the Governor saved Belmont Park!

Teresa said...

Damn, JK, you beat me to it!

El Angelo said...

Alan, how was your tour of the new Jets stadium?

alan said...

The stadium is big....really big! My seats are in the non-PSL upper deck, and they are really high. I read something about the first row in the upper deck being higher than the last row in the old stadium. But there were people working down on the field, and they didn't look like ants, so I think I'll be OK. Still tons of work to do on concession stands, escalators, and other infrastructure.

The coolest thing was to look at the old stadium. Looked like a scene out of one of those end of the world movies, very weird. They told us that by the time the season starts, it will be a parking lot, and you'd never even know it was there.

And the Super Bowl is coming!

Teresa said...

And you got the word, I'm sure, that our NYR prices won't go up next year.

As down as I was about the Rangers last year, one wonders what they might have done in the playoffs, given the success of mediocrity in the Eastern Conference series.

Figless said...

Only a lame duck would dare cross the powerful union lobby, so the Gov's scandal(s) may have borne fruit for NYRA.

If I were the Horseman's group I would still file suit, just to get to the bottom of the process(es).

Wonder what NYCOTB's handle was without all the other tracks? I suspect the drop off is minimal, and the bottom line may improve since they were actually paying the tracks that were banned. Perhaps there is a grand strategy there after all?

And why is NYRA still providing them the signal if they are not paying??