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  #21  
Old Posted May 22, 2009, 9:23 PM
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MGM Mirage Chasing New York Casino

May.18, 2009

After months of fighting to maintain the assets the company already owns, MGM Mirage is once again trying to expand into new gaming ventures. The casino operating company has reentered the race to manage a proposed casino at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The racino project has been in development for several years, causing MGM to withdraw two years ago as legislative and political battles led to endless delays. But now budget demands have pushed the project forward, and MGM has partnered with a Florida developer to enter a bid.

The casino, once built, would be the only legal casino in New York City. Gaming laws allow for 4500 slot machines, although table games are still forbidden.


“MGM Mirage is ready to quickly resume our prior efforts and deliver on the still unrealized dream of Aqueduct. Our knowledge of and history with Aqueduct is comprehensive and dates back to the first stages of the project, and no one knows Aqueduct better than we do,” said MGM Mirage president of development Ken Rosevear.
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  #22  
Old Posted May 22, 2009, 9:27 PM
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http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?n...d=574908&rfi=6

Aqueduct bidders place their bets

by Stephen Geffon
05/14/2009

Last time there were three bidders vying for the opportunity to develop and run an Aqueduct Casino complex in Ozone Park. Now there are seven.

The current list of bidders ranges from major casino operators to real estate and racing interests and is a veritable who’s who of gambling interests that include Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn.

Just in time for the May 8 application deadline, proposals were submitted by
-SL Green Realty Corp.,
-Mohegan Sun,
-Penn National Gaming,
-Delaware North Companies,
-Aqueduct Entertainment Group,
-Peebles Development, LLC,
-and Development Associates, a subsidiary of Wynn Resorts, Ltd., according to Morgan Hook, Gov. David Paterson’s deputy press secretary.

Last October, Paterson selected Delaware North to develop and operate a 328,000-square-foot video lottery terminal facility at Aqueduct Racetrack. But in mid-March the company announced that it would be unable to secure the financing needed to pay the state the $370 million franchise fee. State officials wasted no time and immediately set out to re-bid the project.
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  #23  
Old Posted May 22, 2009, 11:34 PM
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MGM Mirage Chasing New York Casino

May.18, 2009

After months of fighting to maintain the assets the company already owns, MGM Mirage is once again trying to expand into new gaming ventures. The casino operating company has reentered the race to manage a proposed casino at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The racino project has been in development for several years, causing MGM to withdraw two years ago as legislative and political battles led to endless delays. But now budget demands have pushed the project forward, and MGM has partnered with a Florida developer to enter a bid.

The casino, once built, would be the only legal casino in New York City. Gaming laws allow for 4500 slot machines, although table games are still forbidden.


“MGM Mirage is ready to quickly resume our prior efforts and deliver on the still unrealized dream of Aqueduct. Our knowledge of and history with Aqueduct is comprehensive and dates back to the first stages of the project, and no one knows Aqueduct better than we do,” said MGM Mirage president of development Ken Rosevear.
okay this might be off topic a bit, but why exactly are table games forbidden? that doesn't make any sense. there are alot of people won't even touch a slot machine. you would think they would try and keep the money here by catering to other people wants.
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  #24  
Old Posted May 23, 2009, 11:58 AM
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okay this might be off topic a bit, but why exactly are table games forbidden? that doesn't make any sense. there are alot of people won't even touch a slot machine. you would think they would try and keep the money here by catering to other people wants.
I think it has more to do with gambling not being legal in New York. The video terminals get over on a technicality.
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  #25  
Old Posted May 25, 2009, 11:12 PM
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I find it strange that the articles keep referring to this as a "casino". A slots parlour with no gaming tables or roulette wheels is not a casino, it's a video slots parlour. Toronto has the same thing at Woodbine racetrack - but we have no permanent casino.
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  #26  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 12:13 PM
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I find it strange that the articles keep referring to this as a "casino". A slots parlour with no gaming tables or roulette wheels is not a casino, it's a video slots parlour. Toronto has the same thing at Woodbine racetrack - but we have no permanent casino.
It's used in the generic sense.

It's no different that what the one already operating in the area, but being inside the city limits, it is hoped to be a larger attraction (and it would be). Check out Empire City...
http://www.yonkersraceway.com/gaming_index.asp
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  #27  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 4:44 PM
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Would it kill them if they were to put table games here? Jeesus.
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  #28  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 9:53 PM
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Would it kill them if they were to put table games here? Jeesus.
For some of those people, it probably would...
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  #29  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 5:47 PM
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My advice to anyone who likes blackjack:

DO NOT PLAY VIDEO BLACKJACK AT THESE PLACES!!!

Several changes from the rules of real blackjack make it such an unbelievable rip-off that even an extremely lucky day is guaranteed to result in losses.
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  #30  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 11:46 PM
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My advice to anyone who likes blackjack:

DO NOT PLAY VIDEO BLACKJACK AT THESE PLACES!!!

Several changes from the rules of real blackjack make it such an unbelievable rip-off that even an extremely lucky day is guaranteed to result in losses.
I'm afraid your advice will go unheeded.
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  #31  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2009, 5:55 AM
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http://www.observer.com/2009/real-es...-queens-racino

Wynn, Wynn: Vegas Mogul Jets in To Pitch ‘Clubby’ Queens Racino

Story By Dana Rubinstein
August 4, 2009


“A room full of slot machines in Yonkers has no sex appeal,” Steve Wynn told the Transom.

It was July 28, just before 6 p.m., and Mr. Wynn, of the eponymous Wynn Resorts, was relaxing in his attorney’s conference room on the 23rd floor of the New York Times building, following an exhausting day of lobbying city editorial boards.

By “a room full of slot machines,” Mr. Wynn was referring to Empire City at Yonkers Raceway, an unadorned symbol of what he will not build at the Queens Aqueduct in Ozone Park should he win the hotly contested development and slot-machine rights. The prize is worth billions of dollars over the 30-year lease, both to the state and to the developer. It would be Mr. Wynn’s first big New York City investment, and, he said, his first investment in a racino (part racetrack, part casino).

So why here? Why now?

“New York City is New York City is New York City,” Mr. Wynn said. Behind him sat an easel holding a rendering of his vision for Ozone Park. It didn’t reveal much (Mr. Wynn is trying to abide by the state’s request not to reveal details of his proposal), but its aesthetic came through: a creamy white facade, billowing canopies, balconies, an ambience that he described as “high-end clubby.”


He faces stiff competition, including SL Green’s Marc Holliday and a team that combines R. Donahue Peebles, Harbinger Capital and MGM.

But all indications are that Mr. Wynn’s ambitions are serious. He has “$1 billion in cash in a bank, in T-bills;” has hired Long Island–based PR exec Robert Zimmerman; and his staff will signal its dedication to the community by attending a National Night Out anti-crime event in Joseph P. Addabbo Park on Aug. 4.

“Anyone can put up phony renderings,” Mr. Wynn said. “I build places that are beautiful and attractive.”
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  #32  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2009, 12:52 AM
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Aqueduct bidders increase offers

August 24, 2009

Four of the six companies bidding to develop Queens' Aqueduct Racetrack have increased their offers to the state. The final deadline for submitting proposals to Governor David Paterson was last week.

SL Green Realty upped its offer to $275 million from $250 million. Aqueduct Entertainment Group promised the state an additional $100 million -- the company's original bid was $151 million -- if the state will add more video lottery terminals at the casino. Steve Wynn doubled his proposal to $300 million. The partnership of MGM Mirage and developer R. Donahue Peebles increased its bid but would not say by how much.
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  #33  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2009, 1:06 AM
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I choose Wynn. They know how to bring some glitz to this project, something that it needs to even get the crumbs from the neighboring states/Atlantic City.

Otherwise without table games and a subpar experience, no one except for the most desperate and immobile will head there to gamble. In other words, people will continue to go elsewhere to do their gambling.
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  #34  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2009, 1:01 PM
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I choose Wynn. They know how to bring some glitz to this project, something that it needs to even get the crumbs from the neighboring states/Atlantic City.
It's gonna be a huge draw regardless of who gets it though...

Quote:
“A room full of slot machines in Yonkers has no sex appeal,” Steve Wynn told the Transom.
Empire City does good business, and its in Yonkers. Aqueduct will be far more accessible to the millions of New Yorkers and tourist alike. But if done right, it will have that extra "sex" appeal.
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  #35  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2009, 11:18 PM
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Aqueduct casino-race winner expected by Sept. 29
Contest among six bidders vying to build slot-machine palace too close to call.


By Amanda Fung
September 4, 2009


The long-awaited announcement of the winner of the six-firm contest to redevelop Aqueduct in Ozone Park, Queens will be made some time around Sept. 29, when the state Legislature returns to discuss the budget deficit, according to sources.

Earlier this week, there were rumblings that Gov. David Paterson, along with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Senate president, would select a winner as early as Monday. That is looking more unlikely as the Labor Day weekend approaches. The six bidders, which include casino mogul Steve Wynn and mega gaming operator MGM, have not been notified as to when a decision will be made, but they expect the winner will be chosen shortly.

“There is no timeline for a decision,” a spokesman for Mr. Paterson told Crain's on Tuesday. On Friday, the Albany Times Union predicted the possible Sept. 29 decision date.

The bidding process to revive the 210-acre site in Ozone Park has remained relatively private and closed to the public. But that hasn't stopped individual bidders from sharing their plans with the community and the public since the state first started taking proposals in late July.

A source close to one of the bidders said the state's inept handling of the selection process has opened it up to potential lawsuits from those who lose the lucrative contract. According to that source, bidding groups have been allowed to change their bids after the official deadline date. At least one of the bidders, Mr. Wynn's team, has denied that bidders were permitted to alter their bids on an “ad-hoc” basis.

None of the bidders have emerged as an overwhelming favorite. Some sources, however, say two groups—Mr. Wynn's and Delaware North Cos., are seen as favorites by the decision-makers. Delaware North, a lead partner with Aqueduct Gaming, originally won the rights to redevelop Aqueduct but backed out late last year when the recession blocked its ability to come up with the cash to pay a hefty $370 million upfront fee.

Last month, bidders anted up their offers to New York state. At the top of that list was Mr. Wynn, who doubled his bid to $300 million, and Aqueduct Gaming—including Delaware North and Saratoga Gaming—which promptly matched Mr. Wynn's bid. Meanwhile, the group led by SL Green, Manhattan's largest landlord, which also includes Hard Rock International, boosted its offer to $275 million. A group led by MGM Mirage and R. Donahue Peebles, a well-known developer in Florida and Washington D.C., also increased its bid, but declined to give the amount.

Meanwhile, Aqueduct Entertainment Group, which includes the Navegante Group, prominent New York builder Turner Construction and Queens developer Levine Builders, said it will give the state $100 million on top of its initial $151 million bid if the state hikes the number of video lottery terminals (VLTs) to 7,650 from a proposed 4,500.
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  #36  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2009, 11:34 PM
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Wynn or lose
Vegas superstar faces uphill race at Aqueduct.


By Amanda Fung
September 13, 2009

In 1999, Steve Wynn, the man who helped transform Las Vegas into a glamorous gambling mecca, built an eight-acre fountain that performs a watery dance set to music every half-hour in front of his newest casino there. Seven years later, he installed an even splashier water feature at the entrance of his new casino in the Chinese territory of Macau.

Today Mr. Wynn is at it again—in humble Ozone Park, Queens. Only this time he's planning a tranquil two-acre pond in the foreground of what he hopes will be his latest gambling destination, a sprawling quasi-classical building that will rise beside the Aqueduct Raceway.

Mr. Wynn is shifting his approach in the face of one of his toughest challenges yet: He's out to prove he's the man the state should tap to turn the run-down 1950s Big A racetrack into a money-making machine with 4,500 video lottery terminals, or armless slot machines.

With five other active bidders in the running, including a group led by Manhattan's largest landlord, SL Green, and another by his Las Vegas rival MGM Mirage, competition is stiff. No clear leader has emerged in a process that has been anything but transparent. But one thing is clear: Mr. Wynn—a man credited with a Disney-esque ability to conjure up hugely lucrative magic kingdoms—wants to prove he can make it in the Big Apple.

Top ratings galore

“I make people feel good and special,” says Mr. Wynn, boasting that his Wynn Las Vegas luxury resort is the only hotel in America to earn Mobil five-star and Michelin five-star ratings. “That is what I do.”

The debonair 67-year-old with a toothy 150-watt smile and a perma-tan has come a long way from his days as a quiet English major at the University of Pennsylvania. The eldest son of Michael Weinberg, a compulsive gambler who changed the family name to Wynn, Steve had no interest in games of chance. But the death of his father in 1963 forced him to abandon plans to study law and instead manage his inheritance—$350,000 in gambling debts and a small East Coast bingo business.

“It was a seminal event in my life,” says Mr. Wynn.

Less than 10 years later, Mr. Wynn burst into big-time casino gambling, turning a down-at-the-heels Vegas gambling joint, the Golden Nugget, into a luxury resort. Later, he built the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, signing up New Jersey's own Frank Sinatra as its television pitchman.

In 1989, Mr. Wynn opened the Mirage in Las Vegas, which became the first hotel/casino to generate a record $1 million in revenue a day. Others followed, including the $1.6 billion Bellagio.

An avid art collector, the billionaire has a degenerative eye condition that has robbed him of his peripheral and night vision. Nonetheless, he keeps famously close track on his properties by weighing in on everything from their architecture to the location of their toilets.

“He is maniacal about details,” says Andrew Pascal, Wynn Resorts' president.

Mr. Wynn's touch failed him with one project, the Beau Rivage resort in Biloxi, Miss. There, building costs of $700 million far exceeded estimates. The resulting losses depressed the shares of Mr. Wynn's Mirage Resorts Inc., allowing archrival Kirk Kerkorian of MGM to snap up the company for $6.6 billion in 2000.

“Very few Wynn projects have fallen flat,” says William Eadington, director of the University of Nevada Reno's institute for the study of gambling and commercial gaming. “But the Beau Rivage missed the mark.”

While the costs of Mr. Wynn's proposed 350,000-square-foot facility at Aqueduct have not been disclosed, critics say Queens could be his new Biloxi—a bad fit for a man who has made his mark building lavish palaces that cater to high rollers. In Queens, the winner will not only have to live without lucrative table games but also must give 70% of revenues to the state.

Labor relations also seem to work against Mr. Wynn. The state requires the successful bidder to reach a labor peace agreement, but the hotel union is still unsatisfied. That could pose problems for Mr. Wynn, who is the only bidder planning to build an all-new facility and who will need to work closely with organized labor to meet his projected completion date of spring 2011—the latest of all the bids.

Mr. Wynn insists the wait will be worth it. He forecasts revenue of roughly $500 million in the first year alone, handily exceeding the state's goal of $1 million a day. He predicts even higher revenues in each succeeding year, aided by what he calls his premium brand. That brand and Mr. Wynn's sheer star power already seem to have dazzled some New York politicians, but at the end of the day he remains an outsider without any local partner to help show him the ropes.

One thing he does have in abundance, though, is cash. Mr. Wynn bills himself as the most financially sound bidder in these troubled times, with the cash on hand to meet his $300 million up-front bid.

A more sedate vision

Although Mr. Wynn has been criticized for attempting to bring Vegas-like glitz to working-class Ozone Park, in renderings the facility looks relatively modest with its sedate pond and poles festooned with brightly hued racing silks out front.

Inside, a single floor would be crammed with slots, a lounge, shops and restaurants. The building will feature natural light and plantings—part of what Mr. Wynn's team refers to as the developer's “special sauce.”

“They're not flashy; they're beautiful,” Mr. Wynn says, referring to his properties.

This will be his second try at convincing state officials that his concept of beauty will sit in Queens. Last year, he and a few partners, some of whom are now competing bidders, lost the contract. When Delaware North, the winner in that initial contest, failed to come up with its promised $370 million up-front fee, the bidding process was restarted. This time, Mr. Wynn is going it alone in Queens without any local partners.

As the Aqueduct decision looms before Gov. David Paterson and the heads of the New York Senate and Assembly, Mr. Wynn says if he doesn't win the bid he will “take the result with grace.”

“The sun comes up tomorrow, and you go on with your life,” he says.

___________________________________________



HANDICAPPING THE BIG A's HALF DOZEN BIDDERS

AQUEDUCT ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

PARTNERS Turner Construction, Rev. Floyd Flake's Empowerment Dev. Gp., Navegante Gp., Levine Builders, Clairvest Gp., others

BID (opening/current): $151M/$251M (contingent on more VLTs)

HIGH CARDS Promises to open by April 1, strong community ties, extensive NY experience

LOW CARDS Lacks brand-name casino operator and gaming experience
___________________

AQUEDUCT GAMING

PARTNERS Delaware North, Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, Harrah's Entertainment, McKissack & McKissack

BID (opening/current): n.a./$300M

HIGH CARDS Promises to open by April 1, won original contest to redevelop site, tied as highest bidder, strong Albany connections

LOW CARD Failed to come up with its promised $370M payment after winning original contest
___________________

MGM MIRAGE

PARTNERS R. Donahue Peebles, Harbinger Capital, GlobalHue

BID (opening/current): $150 million/ $150 million

HIGH CARDS Promises south Queens economic development, plans to open by summer 2010, only bid led by African-American

LOW CARDS MGM is financially troubled as it struggles to build vast complex in Las Vegas, few city connections, no labor deal
___________________

PENN NATIONAL GAMING

PARTNERS Not available

BID (opening/current): $5 million with conditional $150 million/not available

HIGH CARD Operates slots at four racetracks

LOW CARDS Limited resources and local connections, dark-horse candidate
___________________

SL GREEN

PARTNERS Hard Rock Entertainment, Tishman Construction, companies affiliated with BET founder Robert Johnson

BID (opening/current): $250 million/$275 million

HIGH CARDS Extensive NY connections and experience, good union and community relations, popular brand name, plans to open by April

LOW CARD Lost earlier bid
___________________

STEVE WYNN

PARTNERS none

BID (opening/current): $75 million/$300 million

HIGH CARDS Long track record of success, premium brand name, lots of cash

LOW CARDS Won't open until spring 2011 at earliest; lacks NY connections, experience and partners; strained relations with local unions; might not attract high rollers to Queens
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  #37  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2009, 6:00 AM
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Gov. meets with VIPs over Aqueduct proposals
Gov. David Paterson is seeking input from state officials on the viability of the bids to redevelop the Aqueduct racetrack as a "racino," featuring a video gaming parlor.



By Amanda Fung

Gov. David Paterson is meeting Thursday with decision makers about who will revive Aqueduct in Ozone Park, Queens, according to remarks Mr. Paterson made Wednesday evening.

The governor said he is asking the New York Racing Authority and the lottery authority “to look at some of the proposals which may have structured defects that may eliminate the number of six applicants who are trying to get the contract.” Mr. Paterson, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver and the Senate president will choose a winner.

A source close to the talks said that although a decision was not made on Thursday, the governor and his panel considered four bidders who scored highest in an analysis by his staff. The names of those bidders could not be immediately determined, and it remains unclear about when a decision will be made.

Last month, there were rumblings that a decision about which group would win the right to redevelop the 210-acre site would be made as early as this week. While sources say it is still unclear who the frontrunners are, four groups have been bandied about as the leading contenders. They are Manhattan's largest landlord, SL Green, casino magnate Steve Wynn, Aqueduct Entertainment Group and Aqueduct Gaming.

The bidding process has been kept relatively closed off to the public since the state started taking proposals in late July, but sources say certain groups were recently asked to prove that they had the necessary gaming licenses in place to build a “racino” in Ozone Park. Some speculate that issues with gaming licenses and financial soundness of some of the bidders may be the “structural defects” Mr. Paterson was referring to in his remarks.

Despite the state's quiet approach, several bidders have publicly shared their plans. Most recently, the group led by SL Green and Hard Rock Entertainment unveiled a Web site boasting its plans for a Hard Rock-themed racino. Three other bidders—Aqueduct Gaming, which includes Delaware North; Aqueduct Entertainment Group, which includes the Navegante Group and several local developers; and a group led by MGM Mirage and R. Donahue Peebles, a well-known developer in Florida and Washington, D.C.—also have splashy Web sites promoting their plans for the aging racetrack.

Even Penn National Gaming, which had been relatively quiet through most of the bidding process, has come out of the shadows and reached out to the local community and elected officials. Penn National also revised its bid to $250 million when the others anted up their offers, Christopher McErlean, the company's vice president of racing, recently told Crain's. That bid puts Penn National behind the leading bids of Mr. Wynn, who doubled his bid to $300 million, and Aqueduct Gaming, which matched Mr. Wynn's amount. SL Green boosted its offer to $275 million.

“We have not been led to believe that there are any issues with our proposal,” Mr. McErlean said. “It is a strong one.” Similarly, AEG said it still believes it is “a hometown favorite.”

“We are keenly interested in bringing our vision to Aqueduct, and we eagerly await the decision,” said a spokesman for Mr. Wynn. SL Green, Aqueduct Gaming and MGM did not comment.
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  #38  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2009, 11:23 PM
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Gov's casino flip stirs fears of rigging

By FREDRIC U. DICKER
October 12, 2009


There's growing fear that Gov. Paterson is manipulating the bidding process for the long-delayed, multibillion-dollar contract for a massive video-lottery casino at the Aqueduct Race Track, The Post has learned.

Sources close to the high-stakes selection say they've been shocked by Paterson's recent "flip-flop" on whether one of the six bidders -- tied to influential Queens minister and former US Rep. Floyd Flake -- is even qualified to be licensed by the state Lottery Division, which is vetting the contenders.

"A couple of weeks ago Paterson said that AEG [Aqueduct Entertainment Group] couldn't be qualified by Lottery because of problems with one of its partners," a highly knowledgeable source said.

"But then last week the governor told people that AEG could be qualified for Aqueduct by Lottery. The same partner is there, so why the change, why the flip-flop?"

One of AEG's several partners is Empowerment Development Corp., created by Flake, who has close ties to state Senate President Malcolm Smith, who was a deacon in his church, US Rep. Gregory Meeks, who is his successor in Congress, and Paterson.

While Flake's Empowerment Development isn't the AEG partner with the vetting "problem," the company's presence on the AEG team was described by two sources as the reason AEG was still in the running.

"AEG has ties to Flake, to Malcolm, to Gregory Meeks, to the governor, so what other reason would there be for Lottery to say they're not qualified and then to say that they are?" the source said.

Another source said, "It appears that the governor made promises to Flake's group that he's trying to deliver on now."

Among the six major bidders for the Aqueduct contract are Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn, Delaware North, MGM Mirage and SL Green, a major Manhattan real-estate development company that has partnered with Hard Rock Entertainment.

While Paterson's decision is crucial to the selection of the casino operator, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) and Sen. John Sampson (D-Brooklyn), the Democratic Conference leader, must give their approvals as well.

Video lottery terminals at Aqueduct, in the works for several years, are expected to bring the cash-strapped state at least $100 million in immediate cash and as much as $400 million a year once the casino is fully operational.
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  #39  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2009, 2:39 PM
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http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...FREE/911029992

Aqueduct bidders told to ante up even more money

November 2, 2009



The bidding to redevelop Aqueduct racetrack into a “racino” has entered yet another round: Gov. David Paterson sent a letter late Friday to the six bidders asking each to provide proof it can pay the state $200 million upfront within 30 days of being selected.

The request would mean a revision of most of the bidders' original plans to revive the rundown racetrack by installing video slot machines at the site in Ozone Park, Queens.

Only one of the half dozen bidders—Penn National Gaming—had proposed to pay the state $200 million upfront. Other bidder groups, such as one headed by Manhattan's largest landlord, SL Green, and another by casino magnate Steve Wynn, ponied up $125 million and $100 million upfront, respectively, with more money as the project progressed.

Sources say the latest request—the second change in the rules in less than three months—will likely winnow down the list of potential bidders in the race.

Bidders have until Friday, Nov. 6 to reply to the letter. Mr. Paterson's office did not comment immediately.

So far, only two bidders say they will reaffirm their bids this week. A group led by MGM Mirage and developer R. Donahue Peebles said it has already provided the state evidence that it has the money to develop the racino and called the letter a positive step in the process.

In addition, Christopher McErlean, vice president of gaming at Penn National, confirmed: “We did receive a letter. We are comfortable with our bid and will be reinforcing our commitment.”


The bidding process has been relatively closed to the public since the state started accepting proposals in July. But since then, the bidders have willingly shared much of their plans to revive the 210-acre site.

Bidders were allowed to up their bids in August, an opportunity that several took advantage of. And just last month, Mr. Paterson mentioned in a speech that there were issues with gaming licenses and the financial soundness of some of the bidders. Mr. Paterson, along with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Senate president, selects the winner.

The latest wrinkle suggests the state may be trying to avoid a repeat of last year's experience with the original Aqueduct winner, Delaware North. The group, which is currently bidding on the project again, initially won the right to redevelop Aqueduct but backed out late last year when it could not come up with the cash to pay the $370 million upfront fee it had promised the state.

Collecting $200 million from the winning Aqueduct bidder this year is also part of Mr. Paterson's two-year, $5 billion deficit-reduction plan, which the governor unveiled last month.

While Mr. Wynn offered the largest overall payment to the state of $300 million, he offered only a third of that money upfront. Similarly, SL Green, whose partners include Hard Rock International, offered a total of $275 million with just $125 million upfront.

Sources say both bidders have the financial means to meet the new requirement. The question is whether they will want to amend their plans yet again. SL Green and Mr. Wynn did not comment.

The remaining bidders, Aqueduct Entertainment Group (which includes Turner Construction and the Navegante Group) and Delaware North, also did not comment.

In its bid, AEG said it will give the state $100 million on top of its initial $151 million if the state allows it to boost the number of video lottery terminals to 7,650 from 4,500.

Delaware North offered an upfront fee of $100 million and $200 million within 27 months of opening the permanent facility.
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Old Posted Dec 17, 2009, 2:01 AM
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Potential Long Island casino...

http://cityfile.com/dailyfile/8258

Gambling in the Hamptons

A casino could be coming to the Hamptons in the near future. Washington indicated yesterday that it's prepared to grant official recognitition to the Shinnecock Indian Nation, a tribe that occupies 800 acres in Southampton, "not far from some of Long Island's wealthiest communities and expansive celebrity-owned estates."

Once formal approval comes down from on high, which should take at least six months, the tribe will have the right to set up a Class II casino. (That means slot machines are okay, but table games are no. Sorry, poker fans!)

But it's also possible the casino won't be located in Southampton at all and locals like Calvin Klein and Henry Kravis will have to drive a bit to lose fistfuls of quarters. The tribe has indicated they'd prefer to set up a full-fledged casino—a Class III, as they say in the gambling biz—in which case Shinnecock leaders would have to reach an agreement with state and federal authorities, and the casino would probably be located elsewhere on Long Island, possibly at the Aqueduct or Belmont racetracks.

That would be awfully convenient, wouldn't it? It's so hard to find a place where you can play blackjack and bet on ponies at the same time nowadays!

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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/b...fWK8x0dEinBPbI

Bingo! for LI tribe -- could get casino
Big win in East End casino push


By SELIM ALGAR
December 16, 2009

Jackpot!

The Shinnecock Indian Nation of Southampton was given preliminary approval for federal recognition yesterday in a landmark ruling that could result in downstate's first casino.

The designation would permit the 1,066-member tribe to immediately open a Class II gambling facility -- which permits bingo and certain slot machines, but no table games -- on its ramshackle Southampton reservation.

But Shinnecock sources said the tribe would much prefer to open a full-fledged casino, and will seek to transfer its rights to Aqueduct or Belmont racetracks or vacant land in Riverhead.


"The goal is economic development," said a tribe source. "We want to do what will benefit the Shinnecock Nation, whatever that is."

Hamptons officials and residents have strongly opposed the establishment of any gambling venue in an area just blocks from some of Southampton's most extravagant homes and manicured lawns.

Armed with the threat of constructing a casino on the reservation -- which locals complain would clog roads and attract unsavory elements -- tribal leaders are hoping for support from East End officials for their plan to move it west.

The tribe sparked an East End firestorm in 2003 when it symbolically broke ground on a gaming facility on its 800-acre reservation.

"The fact of the matter is that the Shinnecocks don't want gaming on the reservation and neither do local residents," said Assemblyman Fred Thiele (R-Sag Harbor).

"They are looking for a site up west off the reservation. The question is whether there is a community that will support a casino."

Sources said yesterday's ruling touched off celebrations at the Shinnecock administrative offices in Southampton.

"We have been stepped on around here forever," said a tribe member.

"Look around us. We have $20 million homes around the corner but our kids can't get basic jobs. Not anymore. We fought for this, and we deserve this."

The tribe may also try to use its newfound empowerment as leverage in other ongoing disputes with local and state jurisdictions over massive land claims and the controversial sale of untaxed tobacco.

While the Shinnecocks have been pushing for federal recognition since 1978, they intensified their efforts in recent years.

They are currently represented by Michael McKeon, the former press secretary for former Gov. George Pataki.
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