It's settled: NYRA gets a 25-year franchise

Sep 15, 2008 7:52 PM

by Ray Poirier | The bankrupt New York Racing Association (NYRA) can look forward to another 25 years of operating that states three thoroughbred racetracks: Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga.

They also can bank $75 million that the state is advancing to meet NYRAs financial obligations in the bankruptcy proceedings.

For its part of the deal, created by the New York lawmakers, NYRA will turn over the deeds for the real estate involved with the three racetracks.

Discussions relating to the 25-year operating franchise have continued for a couple of years with a number of politicians getting involved, including retired Senate President Joseph Bruno and sex scandal victim, ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Also delayed for more than half-a-dozen years was the implementation of a law that permits 4,500 slot machines at Aqueduct. That issue still hasnt been resolved.

Without the political shenanigans, MGM MIRAGE Inc. (MGM) would have had the facility built and operating for at least the last three years, with the state receiving an estimated $1 billion annually in much-needed revenue. But, with all the hanky-panky in Albany, MGM MIRAGE wisely bowed out.