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  #61  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2010, 11:22 PM
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Updated 4:59 PM
Floyd Flake Pulls Out Of Aqueduct Racetrack Deal
By: NY1 News

An influential Queens minister is pulling out of a bid to bring thousands of video slot machines to the Aqueduct racetrack, amid reports that the project may be falling apart all together.

While the Reverend Floyd Flake was not a huge part of the development, less than one percent to be exact, his name lent credibility to the project.

Amidst a federal government and the state inspector general probe as to why his group was awarded the lucrative contract, Flake says he is through.

"I have a continuing obligation to my community and the various projects I created and developed including but not limited to the church, its related school, the retail facilities we established in the community, the Senior Citizens Housing Project, the home care operation and many others,” Flake said in a statement released today. “Unfortunately, my ongoing participation in Aqueduct Entertainment has become a distraction that has taken me and my attention away from the community projects I created and nurtured."

Investigators are probing whether the governor traded support for Flake's project in exchange for his political help, a charge the pastor dismissed last week on NY1’s political program “Inside City Hall.”

"All teams had political players on them, and no matter how their process came out, I think the same issues would have evolved, no matter who did not get that bid,” Flake said.

An unconfirmed report says another high-profile investor, Jay-Z, is also backing out.

Meanwhile, another report says the Paterson administration is threatening to pull the plug on the group altogether because the investors missed a deadline to submit to background checks. A spokesperson for the Paterson administration has not yet returned requests for comments.

The project is seen as key to development in southeast Queens, but it also matters city and statewide, as lawmakers are banking on the project pumping in hundreds of millions of dollars to the state budget.

A representative of the group says it submitted all the paperwork on time, and wants to break ground as soon as possible.




Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.
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  #62  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 2:31 AM
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http://www.observer.com/2010/politic...-jay-z-out-aeg

Source: Flake, Jay-Z Out of AEG

By Azi Paybarah
March 9, 2010

Quote:
Rev. Floyd Flake and rapper Jay-Z are pulling out today from AEG, the company which bid recently won a lucrative contract to run video lottery terminals at Aqueduct, according to a source familiar with the group's make-up.

Flake, a powerful reverend and former congressman, and Jay-Z, a multi-faceted rapper, each had less than 1 percent stake in the company. But, under new rules, had to submit detailed information about their personal finances, and that of their spouses. The two felt the confidentiality surrounding their personal information could not be maintained, according to a source.

The Post reported that Governor David Paterson was set to withdraw his support for AEG if the group did not submit information about all their investors by noon today.

UPDATE: The founder of AEG, Jeffrey Levine, issued the following statement: "Aqueduct Entertainment Group is continuing to move forward to complete the MOU, so that we can pay the state $300 million by March 31st and break ground on this vital job-creating project as soon as possible. All applications have been submitted to Lottery in full compliance with the State's instructions."
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  #63  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 1:29 PM
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On to round three...

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2010...ueduct10m.html

'Unlicensable' AEG may be bounced from struggling Aqueduct racino project as early as today




BY Kenneth Lovett
March 10th 2010

Quote:
The group chosen to run the Aqueduct racino failed to clear all the state's hurdles and could be bounced as soon as Wednesday, the Daily News has learned.

The news comes a day after high-profile investors Jay-Z and Queens Rev. Floyd Flake ran away from the project.

The Lottery Division last night forwarded a memo to Gov. Paterson's chief of staff, Larry Schwartz, and chief counsel, Peter Kiernan, stating that Aqueduct Entertainment Group is "unlicensable" for numerous reasons, a source told The News.

If the plug is pulled on AEG, it's unclear whether one of the other losing bidders would be chosen. The cash-strapped state has been counting on the $300 million upfront payment from whoever is chosen to run the racino.

Also at stake is a potential cash bonzana for whoever is chosen because gamblers are expected to pump $6 billion a year into the video slots.
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The Saga of Aqueduct ...
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2010...cino_mess.html

Quote:
October 2001 - State lawmakers approve virtual slot machines at Aqueduct.

April 2003 - The New York Racing Association taps casino giant MGM Mirage to run 4,500 video slots at the race track.

August 2003 - MGM Mirage pulls the plug as feds probe NYRA. Years of delay follow.

September 2007 - Gov. Spitzer reopens bidding on slot machine contract.

October 2008 - Gov. Paterson chooses Delaware North to run Aqueduct racino, but state Senate Republicans immediately object.

March 2009 - Delaware North pulls out, citing recession. The bidding process starts anew.

July 2009 - Seven gaming groups join the latest hunt for slots contract, including the politically connected Aqueduct Entertainment Group.

November 2009 - Five remaining groups retool their bids at Team Paterson's request, raising eyebrows from watchdogs and participants.

Jan. 29, 2010 - Paterson picks AEG, whose investors include influential Queens Rev. Floyd Flake and rapper Jay-Z. The award comes just days after Flake says he might back state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for governor.

Feb. 4 - Losing bidders hurl charges of favoritism and bid-rigging at Paterson and AEG.

Feb. 13 - The state inspector general opens a probe into AEG's selection. The feds also start asking questions.

March 9 - Flake and Jay-Z both bail out of deal. AEG vows to press on. Paterson recuses himself.

March 31 - Looming deadline for AEG to pass background checks and pay $300 million upfront fee.
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  #64  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 5:42 PM
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As predicted...

http://www.ny1.com/1-all-boroughs-ne...ct-racino-deal

State Abandons Support For Aqueduct Racino Deal

By: NY1 News

Quote:
Governor David Paterson announced today that the state has officially withdrawn its support for the deal to install video slot machines at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.

The news comes after the Division of Lottery rejected the Aqueduct Entertainment Groups’ request for a gaming license.

The decision also comes after two of the project’s well-known backers, Reverend Floyd Flake and rapper Jay-Z, said they were backing out amid an investigation of why the group was selected.

________________________________________

http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/knicke...T6bQIwt4FwK5NL
EXCLUSIVE: AEG threatens to sue state over nixed Aqueduct deal

March 11, 2010
By CARL CAMPANILE

Quote:
Don't bet against us

The politically wired firm that won the controversial bid to operate 4,500 slots at Aqueduct race track strongly hinted they’d sue the state if Gov. Paterson’s office reversed courses and scratched the project, The Post has learned. The threat came just as the state announced the deal was being called off.

"We believe any adverse recommendation would be unsupported both as a matter of fact and a matter of law," AEG lawyer Barry Berke said in a strongly worded March 10 letter to Paterson’s top senior aides, secretary Larry Schwartz and counsel Peter Kiernan.

Paterson’s office threatened to kill the project because some of AEG’s investors had failed to submit applications to undergo a background checks to obtain a gaming license.

Following the edict, two minor but influential AEG partners – powerhouse Queens minister Floyd Flake and rap mogul Jay-Z – backed out of the project instead of undergoing the scrutiny.

AEG said it wanted an opportunity to review and contest any "adverse recommendation’ by the Lottery Division before Paterson’s office made a final decision on the project’s fate.
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  #65  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2010, 3:14 AM
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Quote:
"Flake, a powerful reverend and former congressman, and Jay-Z, a multi-faceted rapper, each had less than 1 percent stake in the company. But, under new rules, had to submit detailed information about their personal finances, and that of their spouses. The two felt the confidentiality surrounding their personal information could not be maintained, according to a source."

I wonder what they wish to hide? Could be standard or some rather juicy relationships... would be funny if it were found out the rev. owned some porn websites and jay-z was a gay bar king pin... back on topic.
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  #66  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2010, 5:21 AM
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^ They probably just didn't want personal information released. That's the problem with being a celebrity and trying to do public business.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/ny...2aqueduct.html

Slot Machines at Aqueduct? No, Not Yet

By RUSS BUETTNER and CHARLES V. BAGLI
March 11, 2010

Quote:
The state’s tortured eight-year quest to install a limited casino at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens has failed for the third time, with the governor’s office announcing Thursday that its chosen bidder would not be awarded the contract.

State officials said the company, Aqueduct Entertainment Group, had supplied insufficient financial details regarding some of its investors. And at least two investors about whom the company did supply information raised red flags at the state’s Lottery Division, which must license all participants.

The setback means the state, already facing a shortfall of $9 billion for the fiscal year starting April 1, will not receive the $300 million upfront payment the company had committed to provide by March 31. It also delays the expected daily revenue to the state of $1 million a day. And for the neighboring community, it means putting off the new jobs that have long been promised.

“The community, I am sure, is as disgusted and as disappointed and as frustrated as I am,” said Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer, who represents the area. “I’m embarrassed to go back to them again and say to them, ‘This time it’s going to work.’ ”

Barry H. Berke, a lawyer for Aqueduct Entertainment Group, called the reversal “arbitrary and capricious” and said the group would “pursue all available remedies” if the state did not allow the company to address the issues raised.

...Selecting a successful bidder has required building consensus among Albany’s famed three men in a room, a group now made up of Governor Paterson; Mr. Silver and State Senator John L. Sampson, the chamber’s Democratic leader.

Some were advocating that the three men simply move to the next choice on their lists, rather than reopening the bidding or changing the terms.

“I don’t think we have to start the process over,” said State Senator Eric Adams, chairman of the Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee. “I think there are eligible vendors that are still there. Let’s just move on to the next eligible vendor.”
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http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/20...ks-interested/
Paterson Scraps Aqueduct Deal, Hard Rock’s Interested

By A.D. Pruitt
March 11, 2010

Quote:
The office of embattled New York Governor David Paterson scrapped a deal with Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG) to develop a casino at the Aqueduct Race Track in Queens, poised to be the Big Apple’s first gambling destination.

It’s unclear how the state will move forward with another bidding process, but some of the companies want back in the game. “The SL Green/Hard Rock team is still interested and ready to go forward. We have already fulfilled all of Lottery’s licensing requirements and we remain able to deliver on our promises – both on expedited timing and on our long-term vision for this exciting project,” said SL Green in a statement.
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http://in.reuters.com/article/consum...23658320100311

UPDATE 2-NY state must pick new Aqueduct slot vendor - Gov

Fri Mar 12, 2010
By Joan Gralla

Quote:
NEW YORK, March 11 (Reuters) - New York should choose a new slot machine vendor for Aqueduct Racetrack in a quick and "apolitical" manner now the Lottery Division has rejected the winning bidder, Governor David Paterson said Thursday.

"The Executive Branch advocates that the selection of the Aqueduct VLT (video lottery terminal) franchisee be done pursuant to an expedited, transparent, apolitical and publicly accountable procurement process," the Democratic governor said in a statement.

The governor has said the state could not count on the $300 million Aqueduct Entertainment Group was scheduled to pay on March 31.

New York has been seeking for about a decade to boost gaming revenue by adding slot machines to the horsetrack located in the New York City Borough of Queens.

The list of previous companies that bid for the contract includes SL Green Realty Corp (SLG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) with Seminole Hard Rock Casinos, MGM (MGM.N: Quote, Profile, Research), Harrah's Entertainment HAMLEH.UL, Pennsylvania National, Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O: Quote, Profile, Research), Delaware North, The Peebles Corporation, and the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and the Victoria Racing Club, which were working with New York-based Capital Play.
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  #67  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2010, 5:19 AM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/15/ny...l?ref=nyregion

Bidders Lined Up for a Casino in the Future

By RUSS BUETTNER
March 14, 2010

Quote:
With Albany’s dysfunction searing their fortunes and reputations, why is the same small group of companies insistent on trying to build and run a slot machine casino at a rundown racetrack in southern Queens?

There is the obvious and immediate allure of revenue from the 4,500 video lottery terminals, or V.L.T.’s at Aqueduct racetrack, which could gross several hundred million dollars in their first year. Those are enticing numbers on their own. But the greater attraction may be the potential down the road: the gold-plated possibility that the state is on a path toward further legalization of gambling.

“V.L.T.’s are usually the first step,” said Michael G. French, who oversees the gaming advisory practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Philadelphia. “Then as the market matures, you say, ‘What do we do now?’ ”

Privately, several bidders have made clear that legalization is where they see things headed. And having a licensed casino, albeit a limited one, in the state’s greatest population center would provide a leg up should that day come.

...Many state governments watched with envy the revenue flow that some states enjoyed from Indian casinos. Connecticut has collected $5 billion from the state’s two casinos since they opened in the 1990s. Several states — including Iowa, West Virginia, Indiana and Maryland — responded by approving the installation of video lottery terminals, typically at racetracks.

“You then have established that you can have V.L.T.’s without the sky falling, without cannibalizing neighboring businesses or increasing crime,” said Joseph M. Kelly, a professor of business law at Buffalo State College and an associate of the Catania Consulting Group, which specializes in gambling issues. “You will also have increased tax revenue,” he added, “and believe it or not, that is attractive to many legislators.”

A few states, including Delaware and Pennsylvania, have taken the next step of approving table games, an expected boon to state coffers and to the companies that run the casinos.

Competition for gambling dollars could prove a powerful motivation at Aqueduct, with casinos in Connecticut, Atlantic City and Pennsylvania a short trip away. But putting terminals there would no doubt face strong opposition from gambling interests in Atlantic City and from the operators of nearby Indian casinos, lest new sites draw revenue away.

...Another motivation that bidders have only hinted at is the potential for future real estate development on the vast Aqueduct site.
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  #68  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2010, 9:20 PM
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This project just needs to die. Don't see what's so exciting about it.
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  #69  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2010, 2:50 PM
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Originally Posted by NYC4Life View Post
This project just needs to die. Don't see what's so exciting about it.
Beleive me, the thousands (or millions) who will visit annually due to the added slots would disagree with you. Not to mention the state, which is counting on the revenue.


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2010...%28NY+Local%29

Gov. Paterson sees new Aqueduct racino plan within one month

BY Oren Yaniv and Glenn Blain
March 16th 2010

Quote:
The Aqueduct racino project should be back on track within a month, Gov. Paterson declared Monday.

The Daily News first reported yesterday that Paterson administration officials are drafting new rules to govern the selection of an outfit that would operate 4,500 video slot machines after the first choice, Aqueduct Entertainment Group, was scuttled
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  #70  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2010, 12:34 AM
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Meanwhile...

http://www.27east.com/story_detail.cfm?id=264801
County lawmakers look at possible sites for Shinnecock casinos

By Rohma Abbas
Mar 10, 2010

Quote:
Suffolk County officials have apparently narrowed down a list of recommended locations in the county for a Shinnecock Indian Nation casino to at least four possible sites, according to Suffolk County Legislator Wayne Horsley of Babylon.

The three locations that have been publicly disclosed are a 250-acre county-owned parcel in Yaphank known as Legacy Village, Riverhead Town-owned property at the Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL), and a privately held parcel of land near Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, according to Mr. Horsley, who is chairman of the legislature’s Economic Development Committee, which oversees a gaming task force charged with making the site recommendations.

Officials have remained mum on the fourth possible site, and have declined to say if more sites would be added to the list.

The tribe would not be required to adhere to any of the suggestions the county makes—they are merely recommendations. The county hopes to entice the tribe to build a casino in the county—though not on the South Fork—in order to reap the benefits a casino would provide.

Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman of Montauk, whose district encompasses the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton, hinted at the possible fourth site under consideration: he said the tribe’s leaders have expressed a desire to operate a casino on a 100-acre parcel in Yaphank near the intersection of William Floyd Parkway and the Long Island Expressway, which Mr. Horsley noted was not county-owned. The parcel is tribal leaders’ “first choice,” according to Mr. Schneiderman.
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  #71  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2010, 10:00 PM
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ny1 news

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  #72  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2010, 10:30 PM
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  #73  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2010, 1:12 AM
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http://www.observer.com/2010/politic...winner-himself

Paterson Says He'll Just Pick the Aqueduct Winner Himself

By Eliot Brown
April 6, 2010

Quote:
Apparently fed up with the tortured politicized process of selecting a firm to build a slot machine operation at the Aqueduct Racetrack, Governor Paterson said this morning his administration would simply, by itself, pick a winner through a standard procurement process. This would jettison the unusual process set up years ago for the racetrack that requires a signoff by the leaders of the Assembly and the Senate.

"With the new procurement plan, we think that we could have a winner within the month or June at the latest," Paterson said in an interview on the Capitol Pressroom, acknowledging the plan may not be popular with the legislative leaders. "Whoever is going to be the highest bid, and assuming that they will provide all of the services, they will be the winner."

He justified the decision by likening it to deadlock over state budget, and then gave an unusually strong plug for stronger executive authority.

"If you let three people act independently, it's likely they'll go on and on and on," he said. "In the end, decisions have to be made by one person ... you find that government acts a lot better that way."

The selection of a developer for the Aqueduct has dragged on for years, and was recently reopened after the Paterson administration dropped Aqueduct Entertainment Group—the bidder it declared a winner weeks earlier—in the face of criticism that the choice was influenced by politics. The governor then recused himself from the process. Should the state simply select the bidder, an internal scorecard reported by The Times last week suggests the SL Green bid is the frontrunner.

Austin Shafran, a spokesman for Senate Democrats, emailed a response to the governor's plan suggesting the conference's top priority is a speedy pick.

"It all comes down to jobs," Shafran said. "We need to move this process along in a timely and responsible manner to start creating jobs for the local community without further delay."
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  #74  
Old Posted May 12, 2010, 1:56 AM
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http://www.observer.com/2010/politic...again-aqueduct

State Tries, Tries Again at Aqueduct



By Eliot Brown
May 11, 2010

Quote:
The State of New York is nothing if not persistent when it comes to adding slot machines at the Aqueduct racetrack.

And it is nothing if not slower than expected.

In what is now at least the eighth year of attempts to remake the Aqueduct in one form or another, the Paterson administration's Division of Lottery on Tuesday issued a request for proposals to find an operator to build a racino at the Queens raceway, filling it with Video Lottery Terminals (a.k.a. slot machines).

This is a move that Governor Paterson had promised after the last round fell apart amid allegations of favoritism and an onslaught of negative attention swept over him. (He picked the now-defunct Aqueduct Entertainment Group, then met with AEG member Floyd Flake days later to talk politics, giving the appearance that a possible endorsement influenced the selection.)

But it will take a few months yet.

While administration officials initially pledged a new winner by June—complete with $300 million via a licensing fee to pad the state's troubled budget—now the RFP calls for a "Apparent Winning Proposal Announced" on Aug. 3. (That, as the Divison of Lottery notes, is a "highly compressed timeframe," making one wonder how the agency could fully evaluate offers should new proposals come from teams other than the previous bidders.)

Proposals are due June 29, and the RFP is below.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/31225442/R...ueduct-5-11-10
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  #75  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2010, 2:19 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/s...v7LyGtwFJd9mmO

Swanky plans for Aqueduct



By JENNIFER FERMINO
July 12, 2010

Quote:
The only horse left in the race to win the multimillion dollar Aqueduct contract has revealed its ambitious design for the racetrack -- a 400,000-square-foot space that includes a high-end restaurant, an event center and even a stage for scantily clad showgirls.

The plans from Genting New York -- the American arm of a megabucks Asian gaming conglomerate -- call for an upscale Chinese restaurant and a football-field-sized space for social functions and corporate events.

Visitors will also get an eyeful of dancing showgirls while they hit the video slots, thanks to a stage set up behind the machines. The company claims it will be prepared to open the new racino -- featuring 4,500 video slot machines -- a mere six months after getting the OK from the state.

The plans submitted as part of the bid -- the only one left after Penn National and the SL Green-Hard Rock partnership were disqualified for not following competition rules -- also include a food court with 450 seats, an outdoor terrace and a 2,200-car parking garage.

The Asian gambling giant is one of the largest casino companies in the world, but has a pretty puny presence in the US.

It's hoping that Aqueduct will change that -- if it comes out on top of what has become one of the most bedeviled bidding wars ever.

Aqueduct Entertainment Group, the consortium that won the previous round of bidding despite being deemed "unlicensable," is now being probed following accusations that it rigged the procedure.

If Genting's bid comes up snake eyes, the state will have to start the entire process over, further delaying the already decade-old uphill battle.
_________________________________

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2010...%28NY+Local%29

Genting Malaysia Berhad, now the odds-on favorite for Aqueduct slots, plans 'a first-class casino'



BY Barbara Ross
July 12th 2010

Quote:
The Malaysian firm that runs the largest casino in the world is in a one-horse race to become the operator of Aqueduct race track's slot machine casino near Kennedy Airport.

Until now, Genting Malaysia Berhad has had only a behind-the-scenes presence in U.S. gaming as an investor, including providing seed money for the Foxwoods casino in Connecticut.

But last week, the state Lottery Division disqualified two other bidders, making Genting the only contender left standing. If lottery officials and legislative leaders ultimately approve Genting's bid, the company will for the first time take on an upfront role in North America.

Earlier this year, state leaders had a deal with Aqueduct Entertainment Group - which boasted the politically connected Rev. Floyd Flake as one of its partners - but AEG was found to be unlicensable by lottery officials.

Details of what a Genting-run Aqueduct would look like began to emerge over the weekend when the company disclosed some plans for the antiquated site.

In addition to 4,500 slot machines, there would be a two-story, 450-seat food court, a 34,000-square-foot meeting site for corporate and community events, an entertainment center, a 2,200-car garage, shuttle buses to JFK, valet parking and an outdoor terrace that could accommodate 10,000.

And of course, a 75-foot waterfall.


"It's going to look like a first-class casino," Jay Walker, Genting's spokesman, said.

Genting will outline its plans in more detail Thursday night for Community Board10, which was stunned last week when lottery officials said the other two bidders, SL Green and Penn National Gaming, had been disqualified.

Those firms inserted too many protections for themselves into their proposals, officials said, including provisions that would shield them if Nassau County manages to get the Shinnecock tribe to build a rival casino at the Nassau Coliseum.
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  #76  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2010, 5:41 PM
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Old Posted Jul 16, 2010, 1:16 PM
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Pols: Go-go a no-go for Aqueduct casino

By BRENDAN SCOTT in Albany and CARL CAMPANILE in NY
July 15, 2010

Quote:
Lose the showgirls and hold on to your horses!

Queens leaders said yesterday they want to scratch a plan to have scantily clad Las Vegas-style dancers performing at a proposed casino at Aqueduct Racetrack, while an upstate judge ordered the Paterson administration to halt its latest efforts to open a gambling facility there.

Genting New York -- the American arm of the Malaysian-based gambling giant -- unveiled images on Monday of a proposed "racino" that includes a stage for showgirls to strut their stuff while gamblers play video lottery terminals.

"That's not the type of venue we're looking for," said Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Bratton.

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Ozone Park) said having showgirls at Aqueduct "went over like a lead balloon."

"That was a mistake. I'm not for scantily clothed dancers. This is not Las Vegas!" Pheffer said.


The furor over the showgirls comes as Genting presents its racino plan to Community Board 10 tonight at Aqueduct.

Genting is the only horse left in the race after the state Lottery Division disqualified two other bidders last week -- SL Green-Hard Rock and Penn National -- for not following competition rules.

After hearing about the flak, Genting NY will now tell CB 10 that the plan for showgirls is not leaving the starting gate.

"We have no plans for showgirls. This was an architect's rendering, and nothing more," said Genting spokesman Stefan Friedman.

While widely respected in the gambling industry, Genting is not without controversy.

The outfit has plunked $200 million into its partnership with MGM Mirage. New Jersey gambling regulators warned Las-Vegas-based MGM Mirage to drop its ties to business partner Pansy Ho, the daughter of Macao gambling mogul Stanley Ho, who has reputed ties to organized crime.

But the Genting-backed MGM decided to sell its stake in Atlantic City's posh Borgata casino instead of severing its business partnership with Ho in a Macao casino.

Genting dismissed the connection as trivial.

"That's like holding a bank responsible for the actions of anyone they lend money to. It just doesn't make sense," Friedman said.

Meanwhile, Schenectady Supreme Court Justice Barry Kramer issued the temporary restraining order on the 2-month-old bid process after a lawsuit was filed by the Aqueduct Entertainment Co., whose previous winning bid for the multibillion-dollar casino deal collapsed in scandal earlier this year.
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http://www.globest.com/news/1704_170.../300884-1.html

Restraining Order on Aqueduct Partly Lifted

July 15, 2010

Quote:
A state Supreme Court judge Thursday afternoon partly lifted a temporary restraining order on consideration of Genting New York’s bid for contract to develop a video casino at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. Under an agreement between the two opposing parties, the New York Lottery may not issue a recommendation to Gov. David Paterson before a July 23 hearing at which Judge Barry Kramer will consider a lawsuit brought by Aqueduct Entertainment Group, which first won and then lost the contract in the previous round of bidding. However, a lottery spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com that Kramer ruled the agency may continue evaluating Genting’s bid.
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Old Posted Aug 10, 2010, 1:17 PM
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Lone VLT Bidder Outlines Plan For Aqueduct

By: Bobby Cuza
9/09/2010

Quote:
After almost a decade of false starts including more than one failed bidding process, a plan to bring video slot machines to Aqueduct Raceway is looking like a sure bet. What's still needed is for Governor David Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson to give the green light to the Genting Group, a Malaysian-based casino and resort operator. And now, State Senator Eric Adams of Brooklyn says he will push for approval by week’s end.

"I must say, after your presentation, I’m extremely excited. I’m going to send a memo to Senator Sampson and ask him to formally recommend this venture," Adams said.

Adams is chairman of the State Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, which heard a two-hour pitch from Genting executives Monday. Within six months, Genting says it will have 1,600 video slot machines up and running, along with a food court.

In a year, the full interior will be complete with 4,500 slot machines total, a buffet restaurant, two high-end restaurants and a VIP area. And within 18 months the project will be complete with a grand entrance, including a three-story waterfall in the lobby. There will also be on-stage entertainment, outdoor event space and an enclosed skybridge to the subway station.


"You’re more than building slots in a box here, gentlemen. You’re building a place which people say, 'Hey let’s go for dinner over there,' or, 'Hey let’s bring my folks, they’re in town, over there,' or, 'Hey, let’s get on the subway and go over to Aqueduct. We’re gonna have a good time after the game,'" said Genting spokesman Jay Walker.

Lottery officials received interest from several development groups in this latest round of bidding. But Genting was the last one left standing, after the two other finalists were disqualified last month for failing to conform to the bid requirements.

"I was disenchanted that they were the only bidder remaining. I wanted it to come down to more than one. And so I was reluctant to recommend. Then after seeing their presentation, clearly they are the best product," Adams said.

Genting estimates the project will create about 2,100 jobs and is promising to put one percent of net profits back into the community. It doesn’t hurt that Genting has also promised $380 million as an upfront licensing fee, money that will help the state close a massive budget gap.

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Betting on real casino

By CARL CAMPANILE
August 10, 2010

Quote:
Officials with the Malaysian gaming giant set to run slot machines at Aqueduct Race Track are already talking about expanding to a full-fledged casino -- if New York were to legalize it.

During a presentation to the state Senate yesterday, a spokesman for the company Genting, Jay Walker, said the outfit relished the opportunity to have games like blackjack, poker and roulette at the planned Aqueduct video-lottery-gaming facility.

Walker said table games "[appeal] to another group of people" and are "important in the long term."

"If we have a more full casino, we become more attractive in pulling people in . . . It will significantly improve the success overall with table games," Walker said.

Walker also pointed out that the top level of the three-floor casino will be left vacant for future growth or use.

But Walker stressed that for the immediate future, Genting is focusing on running a first-class 4,500 video-lottery-terminal facility, which is what the state asked for.

Under the best of circumstances, it would take at least several years to authorize casinos in New York.

Such an undertaking requires amending the state constitution, which requires voter approval in two statewide ballot measures following approval by two separate election sessions of the state Legislature.

Sen. Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn), who chairs that body's racing and gaming panel, applauded Genting's enthusiasm for expanding into a full-fledged casino.

He said it's inevitable that New York will legalize Vegas-style casinos because surrounding states -- New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut -- offer them.

Adams said he's "more excited than ever" to pursue table games to help preserve the horseracing industry after hearing Genting's endorsement.

"It's a win-win for New York. Right now, you see cars with New York plates at casinos in Atlantic City, in Foxwoods and Pennsylvania," he said.

The state Lottery Division and Gov. Paterson back Genting's plan. But it still needs a sign-off from the two legislative heads, Senate Conference Leader John Sampson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

Senators were particularly impressed with Genting's plan that 60 percent of hires at the racino will be minorities -- more than double what the state required.

If it gets a final OK, Genting said a 1,600-slot facility at Aqueduct would be up and running within six months.

A spruced-up 4,500-slot facility with restaurants would be operating within a year. And amenities -- such as a skywalk connecting the racino to the A-train subway station -- would be in place in 18 months.
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Old Posted Aug 10, 2010, 11:46 PM
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State Senate Green-Lights Genting for Aqueduct

By Eliot Brown
August 10, 2010

Quote:
Maybe the Aqueduct deal will happen after all.

The Democratic majority in the State Senate today issued a statement saying that it supports the selection of Genting New York to develop slot machines at the Aqueduct racetrack.

From Senate Democratic leader John Sampson:

"Nothing is more important than creating jobs. The acceptance of Genting puts New York on the fast track to rebuild our local and state economy through sound economic development and immediate and long-term job creation."

Now, the ball falls into the court of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who also must give his approval before Genting can be granted the development rights.

Not to say it's exactly time to break out the Champagne. The last time the procurement process fell apart at the Aqueduct, it was after Mr. Silver, Mr. Sampson and the governor had all given the nod to a single firm: Aqueduct Entertainment Group (although Mr. Silver had attached some new conditions).

Still, things appear to look promising.
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2010, 6:55 PM
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Aqueduct bidder wins final yea vote
End of 9-year, 5-round bidding process in sight; Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver casts his vote—the last of three needed—in favor of Genting building a racino at the old track.


By Amanda Fung
August 12, 2010

Quote:
New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has signed off on the state Lottery Divisions' recommendation of Genting New York, part of a Malaysian entertainment giant, as the winner of the lucrative Aqueduct racino bid. Mr. Silver was the third and final state official who needed to approve the bid.

The approval may finally mark an end to a long drawn-out bidding process, which began nine years ago and is now in its fifth round. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson issued his approval of Genting to revive the rundown racetrack in Ozone Park, Queens, and install thousands of video slot machines. The announcement came just a week after the state Lottery Division selected Genting, the sole remaining bidder in the race to development Aqueduct. Gov. David Paterson said he would just go along with Lottery's selection. A spokeswoman for Mr. Silver confirmed his support.

The official Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed by all three leaders by the end of the week. The contract will then go to the state attorney general's office and the state controller's office for final approval. If those approvals are granted, Genting has 10 days to deliver the $380 million upfront licensing fee it promised to the state, a Lottery spokeswoman said.

Genting, which promises to open the first phase of the video slot machine project in a mere six months, offered $80 million more than the mandatory $300 million fee that the state requested. The extra money will help to narrow the state budget deficit. The Aqueduct racino is expected to create about 1,200 construction jobs and 800 permanent ones and bring the state some $500 million a year in revenue.
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