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  #41  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2009, 8:27 AM
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A "Casino" with no table games in Metro New York, impressive. Hopefully a full fledge facility will be built.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2010, 10:58 PM
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^ It will be pretty much the same as Empire City, only in city limits...


http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/p...Md6wPtmdGiKIbM

Paterson promises to pick Aqueduct vendor soon

By BRENDAN SCOTT
January 1, 2010


Gov. Paterson promised today to finally leave the starting gate and pick a vendor “in the next week or so” to bring a long-planned lottery parlor to Aqueduct Race Track.

Paterson made the remarks as the state neared a critical deadline that could cost it the $200 million up-front payment that the governor and lawmakers have already counted on to balance the current year’s budget.

“If the two other leaders cannot come to a conclusion and a decision about which groups should be the sponsoring organization, then I think I'll be forced, as I did last year, to announce my group,” Paterson told reporters during a New Year’s open house at the Executive Mansion.

“What I'm going to do probably in the next week or so is pick one myself,” Paterson said.


Paterson has been promising to select a casino operator since the summer, when he and legislative leaders began bickering over the plan and haggling with bidders to sweeten the pot.

Pressure to act increased after the New York Racing Association, which operates Aqueduct and the state’s two other thoroughbred horse tracks, said the state’s in action would force it to cancel the Belmont Stakes in June.

NYRA hopes to collect as much as $1 million daily from the 4,500 lottery terminals planned for Aqueduct. Also, a bidder must be chosen within days if Paterson hopes to negotiate a contract before the state’s fiscal year ends March 31, insiders say.

If not, the $200 million up-front payment would have to be added to the existing $500 million hole in the state budget. So far three governors have failed to bring the project to fruition since 2001, when the Legislature first authorized the Aqueduct “racino” under Gov. George Pataki.

Five bidders remain, after Las Vegas executive Steve Wynn reportedly tired for the drawn-out process. Those remaining include: Aqueduct Entertainment Group, Delaware North, MGM Mirage, Penn National Gaming and SL Green, which is in a partnership with the Hard Rock chain.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 5:21 AM
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http://www.gamingtoday.com/industry-...?storyid=24159

N.Y.'s Gov. Paterson to announce slot plan

January 04, 2010
Industry Insider by Ray Poirier


In New York state politics, it takes three to tango. That’s probably why the state passed a law eight years ago permitting video lottery machines at Aqueduct racetrack but failed to implement the plan.

Responsibility for the selection of the operator for that slots facility has been placed in the hands of Gov. David Paterson, a Democrat; House Speaker Sheldon Silver, Democrat, and Senate Leader John Sampson, a Democrat. Up to the end of 2009, the three had failed to agree on an operator from among a half-dozen applicants.

Frustrated with the delay, that could be costing the state as much as $1 million a year in revenue, Gov. Paterson has indicated that he plans to announce his choice this week.

Paterson’s associates have indicated that he is leaning toward the SL Green Group that is partnering with Hard Rock Entertainment.
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  #44  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2010, 11:03 PM
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http://curbed.com/archives/2010/01/2...age_temple.php

Queens Casino Revealed



JAMAICA—The three men in a room have finally decided on a development team to turn the forlorn Aqueduct Racetrack into a "racino" with video betting machines and a dash of Vegas glitz and glamour. Will their decision stick this time? According to a press release from Sheldon Silver's office, Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG)—comprised of the Navegante Group and a whole bunch of others—are the winners, but there are conditions. Lots of conditions. Like the group ponying up (heh!) a $300 million upfront licensing fee, instead of the $200 million that already chased Steve Wynn away. AEG's proposal for the multi-phase racino/resort is the one with "seven sections designed to mirror city neighborhoods" like the Lower East Side. The group's website gives a glimpse into their plans, seen in the gallery above.










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  #45  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2010, 2:36 AM
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http://www.gamingtoday.com/industry-...?storyid=24488

Woolf prevails on slots at Aqueduct

(February 01, 2010 4:40 PM)
Industry Insider by Ray Poirier

After months of speculation, Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG), headed by Larry Woolf’s Navegante Group, has been chosen as the developer and operator of a slots facility at Aqueduct racetrack in New York.

The announcement, made by N.Y. Gov. David Paterson, ends months of political infighting that has kept the selection process from identifying the winner from a half-dozen bidders.

To get the license, however, AEG will have to pay the state an upfront fee of $300 million, the figure required to insure the approval of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who with Paterson and the Senate Majority Leader were empowered by legislation to choose the operator.

A major factor in AEG’s success was the promise by Woolf, who was responsible with the development of MGM Hotel/Casino and currently operates a number of gaming facilities in Nevada, to have Aqueduct up and running in six months.

Participating with Navegante in AEG are GreenStar Services Corp, Turner Construction Co., Levine Buildings, The Daman Group Inc., Empowerment Development Corp., PS&S Design, Siemens AG, and Clairvest Group Inc.
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  #46  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2010, 2:12 PM
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This will have to do until we get better renderings...

(from aqueductentertainment.com)
































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  #47  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2010, 5:22 AM
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http://www.observer.com/2010/politic...-aeg-has-money

Paterson: There Was Consensus on Aqueduct; AEG Has the Money



By Eliot Brown
February 4, 2010

Quote:
Here's Paterson's statement, which references the up-front financial demand (a $300 million payment to the state), and asserts that AEG can meet it.

"AEG was selected to operate video lottery terminals at Aqueduct racetrack in a unanimous decision reached through the equal votes of the leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the Assembly, and myself. Each leader had equal statutory authority, equal responsibility and is equally accountable in this selection.

"AEG has both the financial viability and ability to pay the required upfront licensing fee. AEG complied with every request made during the review process and addressed satisfactorily all matters related to licensability. AEG's compensation to the State, both in the short term and the long term put it near the top or at the top compared to other bidders. Further, AEG's gaming operator, Navegante, has a verifiable record for establishing successful gaming operations. AEG's plan fits well within the very diverse and middle class community that exists around Aqueduct and its approach to operations will attract local community members to the site in the largest numbers and create local jobs for people in the surrounding area. AEG's commitment to diversity and inclusion was also an important consideration in choosing it to operate at Aqueduct.

"All information about the bidders and their bids was presented to all involved parties as we weighed this selection. After a lengthy evaluation process, I can only assume that the other leaders made their decision, as I did, because AEG offered the bid that received both unanimous support and is good for New York."
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  #48  
Old Posted Feb 7, 2010, 1:01 AM
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http://www.niagara-gazette.com/opini...034224237.html

GLYNN: Las Vegas-based firm to run Aqueduct casino

February 03, 2010

Quote:
A Las Vegas-based management company has been awarded a contract to operate a lucrative casino at Aqueduct Race Track in New York City.

Aqueduct Entertainment Group, an eight-member partnership that includes gaming executive Larry Woolf’s Navegante Group, was selected over competing bids from four other groups: MGM Mirage, Harrah’s Entertainment, Penn National Gaming and Hard Rock Entertainment, which is operated by a Indian tribe in Florida.

Officials said the new casino’s 4,500 video lottery terminals could help offset New York’s $7.4 billion budget gap. It is estimated the gambling terminals could generate upwards of $1 million per day in revenue.

A spokesman for AEG said the Navegante Group also operates casinos at The Sahara in Las Vegas, Reno’s Grand Sierra and three properties in Elko, Nev. At present, a memorandum of understanding is being negotiated with New York State Lottery officials and those meetings will take about two months. The casino is expected to open by September.
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  #49  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2010, 2:13 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/s...yM9ymZA9kNlkiP

NY slots pick runs rinky-dink Nevada casino

By REBECCA ROSENBERG
February 8, 2010


Instead of picking world-class MGM Mirage or Hard Rock Entertainment to run the city's first video-slot parlor, Gov. Paterson is betting on the company that runs the largest casino in all of . . . tiny Elko, Nev.

And if the Red Lion Hotel & Casino in the sleepy backwater town 500 miles from Vegas is any indication, Aqueduct is well on its way to being redeveloped as a Sin City resort -- circa 1972.

The Post spent the weekend in Elko to get an idea of how the Navegante Group -- the gaming arm of the politically connected winning Aqueduct bidder, AEG -- operates, since the desert town is where most of its holdings are.

Navegante acquired the Red Lion in 2006 but has so far been unable to turn the tide.

"This is a casino that might have been in Vegas -- in the 1970s," said Courtni Greenwell, who works at the casino's Starbucks.

A third of the hotel's rooms have been renovated, but "still smell like an ashtray," one regular said. And the only entertainment currently offered at the casino, aside from the slots and table games, is karaoke.

The other three properties Navegante owns in town are in even worse shape.

The carpeting "is stained and dirty, and they just laugh at me when I ask for it to be replaced," said Thunderbird Motel front-desk clerk Velma Cheety. "There's a bullet hole in the window from five years ago, and they won't replace that, either.

"And now they're going out to New York?"

David Zornes, CEO for Navegante's properties in Elko, defended his hotels.

"There's nothing we don't repair. If we know about it, we do it," he said.

Lifelong residents in this town of 40,000 said Elko can hardly be considered a proving ground to make it in the Big Apple.

They should know -- the company is focused nearly exclusively on locals after it stopped subsidizing charter flights of tourists to bring them to town. Instead, Navegante now regularly doles out $5 vouchers to Elko residents to help bring in business.

Unlike on the Vegas Strip, where you're apt to see Gucci-slinging celebrities dining at four-star eateries, in downtown Elko, it's cowboy hats and mullets chowing down in restaurants with deer antlers on the walls.

"Look at this town. It's ugly. It's dirty," Cheety said. "We're an old cow town off the Interstate, nothing like New York."

When the company needed photos of the motel for advertisements, it "painted the left and the right side of the building but not the middle," she said. "And you can't see the middle, so they didn't bother. But why not just finish the job? It looks funny."

Founded in 1996 by former MGM Grand CEO Larry Woolf, Navegante owns or manages seven casinos in Nevada, Canada and Wisconsin, although none of them on the scale of the planned video slot parlor at Aqueduct.

Navegante contends that it is actually a better fit for the Aqueduct job than the bigger players in the industry.

"A lot of the guys running these big operations have never run a casino in their lives -- they're Wall Street guys," said Larry B. Woolf, the CEO's son.

"We have been in a similar situation before, when we beat out Caesars and Circus Circus to get the contract for Casino Niagara, which when we opened it at that time, generated more per square foot than any other casino.

"We don't have a board to report to. We make our own decisions, and we are competent, experienced, impeccable."

Michelle Fitzsimmons, 50, a cocktail waitress at the Red Lion, backed up her bosses.

"In this town, this casino is managed the best because, well, the other two went bankrupt," she said.
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  #50  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2010, 5:45 PM
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Looks more like a 90's convention center than a Casino IMO.
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  #51  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2010, 1:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanImpact View Post
Looks more like a 90's convention center than a Casino IMO.
That's because in reality, it's still the racetrack.
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  #52  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2010, 1:26 AM
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Aque-losers in leak pique

By CARL CAMPANILE
Last Updated: 3:39 PM, February 16, 2010
Posted: 3:01 AM, February 16, 2010

Two firms that lost out on the Aqueduct "racino" deal charged yesterday that state officials leaked confidential information in their plans to competitors -- including the politically wired winning consortium led by Queens minister Floyd Flake.
Sources close to Delaware North and Penn National Gaming claimed key details about their bids were given to Flake's Aqueduct Entertainment Group, as well as SL Green/Hard Rock, before Gov. Paterson and legislative leaders announced that the lucrative franchise was awarded to AEG.
The claim comes as Paterson prepares to release the bids of the four finalists today following weeks of criticism that the selection process was corrupt.

The US Attorney's Office in Manhattan and the state Inspector General's Office are investigating the Aqueduct deal and AEG's connection to a Queens not-for-profit group, New Directions Local Development Corp., run by associates of Flake and Senate President Malcolm Smith (D-Queens).
Delaware North lobbyist James Featherstonaugh said he was informed that "our bid had been leaked to both AEG and SL Green."
Another source said an assistant counsel to the governor had called his bidding group last week to notify them that Paterson planned to make the bids public, and asked if there was any proprietary information that they wanted held back.
"We just laughed. We know that our bid info was secretly given to AEG and another bidder a long time ago," the insider said.
A third source confirmed the claim, saying, "I don't know how and why they had our bids."
An AEG spokesman shot down as "preposterous" its rivals' claims that AEG got inside information on their plans.
An SL Green/Hard Rock source emphatically denied that the group had gotten an early peek at rival bids.
In a column in the Press, a Queens weekly, Flake defended AEGs' bid and dismissed the controversy.
"From my 30-plus years as a developer in this community, I can tell you that media innuendo does not build projects," he said.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/a...QDVndU76tco51L
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  #53  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2010, 1:52 PM
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This has turned into a daily soap opera. They just need to finalize the deal.
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  #54  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 12:48 AM
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And the soap opera continues.....

Feds contact losing bidders for dirt on Aqueduct deal
By FREDRIC U. DICKER in Albany and CARL CAMPANILE in N.Y.
Last Updated: 7:40 PM, February 17, 2010
Posted: 7:40 PM, February 17, 2010

Federal authorities have begun contacting losing bidders as part of a growing probe into the controversial deal to install video slots at Aqueduct, The Post has learned.
Even as it emerged yesterday that two AEG investors are being probed by state and federal officials over unrelated financial scams, an official from the Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara's office already has been in touch with Delaware North, one of four groups that lost out on the lucrative contract to the Aqueduct Entertainment Group, sources said.
"They wanted to know if Delaware North would be willing to cooperate with an investigation. If someone wants to investigate, we'd tell them anything we know about the bidding process. We'd be willing to cooperate," a Delaware North insider said.

Penn National CEO Peter Carlino also said he would participate in any probe.
"The outcome was somewhat preordained. It's disappointing that we wasted even five minutes on this project," Carlino fumed. "AEG is not the most competent operator."
Carlino even sent a private letter to Gov. Paterson expressing concerns that the fix was in weeks before Paterson and legislative leaders awarded AEG the 30-year franchise.
"If our being a Pennsylvania-based company in any way prejudicess us in the bid process, we wish we would have known that going in," Carlino told Paterson. "It would almost appear that some might be trying to find way not to award the contract to Penn."
Paterson's office on Tuesday released documents related to the bid, which showed that AEG initially ranked last in terms of revenue it would generate for the state - but then jumped to first when bids were revised.
One gaming expert told The Post the dramatic change "looked fishy."
Meanwhile, questions were raised about some of AEG's invesment partners yesterday.
The Toronto-based 1X Inc, an online gaming software company, owns 4.4 percent of AEG.
Two of 1X's investors are principals in the Markit Group, which is being investigated by both the US Justice Department and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's as part of a larger probe of the credit default swap market.
Markit has denied any wrongdoing.
The controversy surrounding the Aqueduct project has enared Paterson for three weeks.
"I told David that picking AEG would be a mistake," said one longtime associate. "There are too many shaky characters and they tried to pimp Floyd Flake's good name," the source added, referring to the powerful Queens minister who a key leader in AEG's effort.
Critics also said AEG's own statements indicate they are were allowed to change their bud after submission.
In a statement on Tuesday, AEG said in "subsequent negotiations" with state officials it had raised its upfront license fee to the state to $251 million, and then to $300 million. It initially offered $151 million, the lowest of all bidders.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/p...HreFtFoNhSNggJ
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  #55  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 4:22 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/q...#ixzz0fzbSqf9o

Fading in stretch

By FREDRIC U. DICKER in Albany and CARL CAMPANILE in NY
February 19, 2010

Quote:
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is prepared to kill the controversial Aqueduct slots contract awarded to a politically wired consortium because of ongoing federal and state probes, The Post has learned.

Silver -- along with Gov. Paterson and state Senate Democratic leader John Sampson -- recently gave preliminary approval to the Aqueduct Entertainment Group, led by powerhouse Queens minister and ex-Congressman Floyd Flake.

But Silver -- who tied his support to stricter conditions on AEG -- is now mulling pulling the plug on the project by refusing to sign a "memorandum of understanding," or legal agreement, to finalize the contract.

"The speaker is saying he may not sign the MOU," said a source familiar with Silver's thinking.

"The speaker is leaving open the possibility that he won't sign, depending on what new information emerges, on what the investigations find," the source added.

"He also believes it's possible, when all is known, that maybe the governor, or the Senate, won't want to sign the MOU, either," said the source.

The memorandum, now being drafted, is expected to be finalized in four to six weeks.
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  #56  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2010, 2:55 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/j...4dPNsnkW4XAqJN

Jay-Z stake in Aqueduct slots deal draws scrutiny

By FREDRIC U. DICKER in Albany and ANNIE KARNI in New York City
February 21, 2010

Quote:
Gov. Paterson has 99 problems -- and Jay-Z might be one of them.

The governor's friendship with the hip-hop impresario is raising questions because of the latter's involvement with AEG, the consortium controversially selected to run a multibillion-dollar racino at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Paterson's bond with the man born Shawn Carter was growing at the same time that Jay-Z was being courted to join the Aqueduct Entertainment Group.

Last Aug. 31, Jay-Z and his wife, Beyoncé, shared a podium with Paterson to announce that Jay-Z would stage a 9/11 benefit concert at Madison Square Garden.

In early September, AEG Chairman Richard Mays approached Jay-Z through his business partners and asked whether he would be interested in joining the consortium -- which at the time ranked last among six bidders seeking the lucrative project.

Within days, Jay-Z had agreed to take a 7 percent stake in AEG through one of his companies, Gain Global Investments Network LLC.

Jay-Z, 40, had long been interested in the project, sources said. In spring 2009, he'd begun talking with casino mogul Steve Wynn about joining Wynn's bid to operate the racino.

No deal was hammered out, and Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts Limited, frustrated by the long review process and its murky rules, eventually bowed out.

"Paterson directly told Wynn he needed to have a minority partner, so he went and got Jay-Z. But when Wynn pulled out, Jay-Z was without a home," a source told The Post. "AEG went and grabbed Jay-Z after his deal with Steve Wynn fell through."

AEG jumped at the chance to recruit Jay-Z, who has become increasingly close to Paterson, sources said. The two dined together in June and hung out in the Hamptons.

After attending the 9/11 concert at Madison Square Garden as Jay-Z's guest, Paterson wrote to MTV: "I can personally attest to his commitment to New York and the impact he has on New Yorkers of all ages. He is most definitely deserving of the top-MC-of-2009 title."
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Beating a dead horse: Gov. Paterson insists feds won't 'find anything' in Aqueduct racino probe



BY Kenneth Lovett
February 19th 2010

Quote:
An emboldened Gov. Paterson predicted the feds will be wasting their time poking into the controversial Aqueduct racino deal.

"I don't think [they're] going to find anything," Paterson told WOR-AM's John Gambling Thursday.

The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan is digging into the chaotic process that led to the selection of a politically connected group to run the slots parlor.

State Inspector General Joseph Fisch also is investigating the deal.
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  #57  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2010, 2:54 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/q...mnekhijZjsJmjN

Aqueduct deal gets bad 'rap'

By CARL CAMPANILE
February 24, 2010

A rapper war erupted yesterday over the controversial Aqueduct slot machines project.

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons fired the first salvo, saying that Aqueduct Entertainment Group, which had courted Jay-Z as an investor, wasn't the best bidder.

Simmons said the firm he advises -- Penn National Gaming -- and not AEG should have won the contract to operate 4,500 video-lottery terminals at the faded horse racing facility.

"Why didn't the leadership just take the best deal for the people?" Simmons asked, referring to Gov. Paterson and legislative leaders.

Of AEG, Simmons said, "Theirs just wasn't the best deal for New York . . . Can any of my dear friends in New York government tell me where and when did it all go wrong?"

He said Penn National's bid was far superior to that of AEG, whose partners include powerhouse minister and former Rep. Floyd Flake.

"They offered the most money to the state, by $100 million, up front. They can pay the fastest because they have the money in the bank," Simmons said in a column on his globalgrind.com blog.

Simmons told The Post yesterday he wasn't personally "knocking" either Jay-Z or Flake.

"Jay-Z is a great guy. I don't think he's sweating it any more than I am," he said.
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  #58  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2010, 2:46 PM
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http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2010...%28NY+Local%29

Shinnecock Indians, Gateway Casino Resorts team up in bid for Long Island casino

BY William Sherman
February 28th 2010

Quote:
The Shinnecock Indians and their super-rich partners have spent more than $1 million to lobby state and federal lawmakers to let them build a "world-class" casino on Long Island - possibly at Belmont Park racetrack.

The impoverished Southampton, L.I., tribe doesn't have the money for the project, but their backers and development partners, Gateway Casino Resorts, has plenty to invest.


Gateway's principals are Marion Illitch who, with her husband, owns the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Red Wings, and Little Caesar's national pizza chain, and wealthy gambling czar Mike Malik.

Gateway's only stated business purpose is the Shinnecock casino enterprise, and Malik has made significant contributions to politicians who could turn the plan into reality.

The casino needs the approval of the governor, the Legislature and Congress.

The partners have hired Mercury Public Affairs, whose star lobbyist is Rodney Capel, a former top official in the state Democratic Party. Capel has also worked for Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Charles Rangel, and Assemblyman Herman (Denny) Farrell.

Discussions on the project, some as recent as two weeks ago, have been held with Gov. Paterson, major state leaders, Rangel, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Schumer's chief of staff, Martin Brennan, said Capel, whose firm has been paid more than $200,000.

"We're hoping to get quick resolution on a site location that's good for the state, good for the specific locality and the people there, and good for the tribe," Capel said.

Tribal leader Fred Bess said, "We're looking to build a world-class facility" which would include a full complement of table games like blackjack and poker, plus slot machines, a big hotel and Vegas-style entertainment.

A casino would be a billion-dollar jackpot for the 1,066-member tribe whose desolate reservation is near Southampton's luxurious mansions.

The Shinnecock enterprise is the latest entry in the quest for the big pot of gold - the billions New Yorkers would gamble at locations more convenient than Atlantic City or Foxwoods in Connecticut.


Two weeks ago, tribal leaders and Capel met with Paterson, state Senate president Malcolm Smith, and Sen. John Sampson in Albany, Capel said.

"We don't think getting the approvals will be that hard," said Capel.
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2010, 5:20 PM
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Flake and pals face a grilling


JAY-Z Subpoena on slots deal.

Post Staff
March 2, 2010

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Former US Rep. Floyd Flake and rap moguls Jay Z and Russell Simmons will be subpoenaed today in the state probe into the controversial contract to operate slot machines at Aqueduct Racetrack, The Post has learned.

Flake, a Queens minister and personal friend of Gov. Paterson, and Jay-Z are partners in AEG, the company that was chosen by the governor to operate 4,500 slot machines at the track.

Simmons is an adviser to Penn National Gaming, one of the losing bidders.

The subpoenas were issued by the State Inspector General's Office, which is working with the US attorney. The three are the first of dozens likely to be quizzed. Aqueduct Entertainment Group offered the state the least money up front, had unrealistic revenue estimates and provided fewer financial details than competitors, according to Saratoga Racing and Gaming, a partner in a losing bid from Delaware North.

Saratoga noted that AEG's casino partner, the Nevada-based Navegante Group, was hardly a household name compared to fellow bidders SL Green's Hard Rock; MGM's Peebles Delaware North-Harrah's; and Penn National, a national gaming firm.

AEG was allowed to revise its bid to offer the cash-starved state an upfront license fee of $200 million. Delaware North, Penn National and SL Green each bid at least $300 million, but with strings attached.

AEG has defended its proposal as sound.
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Old Posted Mar 7, 2010, 11:12 PM
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New York Governor David Paterson is facing a battery of investigators and agencies searching through his recent acts for criminal and erhical violations, but he says scandals such as manipulating the casino rights for Aqueduct Race Track and accepting illegal gifts are without foundation. Paterson told reporters Friday that he would speak to the state attorney general's office and the Public Integrity Commission to clear his name.

Paterson has been accused of ignoring higher bids by Penn National Gaming and other gambling operators to award the casino license for Aqueduct to Aqueduct Entertainment Group. AEG has amomng its associates Jay-Z, noted as a close friend of the governor, and Reverend Floyld Flake, an influential community leader whose support may have been crucial to Paterson's plans for re-election, recently dropped.

Paterson is also facing charges that he interfered in a domestic violence case involving one of his top aides, and that he accepted a block of World Series tickets in violation of state ethics laws against gifts for public officials.

Common Cause, a watchdog group advocating government accountability, called for Paterson's resignation earlier in the day, saying addressing the scandals is preventing Paterson from dealing with important state business, including handling its budget crisis.

Paterson said he would not resign, and promised to meet with state authorities to resolve any appearances of impropriety on his part. However, the casino rights investigation may be harder for him to quell, as reports had federal investigators looking into the process of naming Aqueduct's future gaming operator.
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