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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz
 

Aqueduct casino decision may be near

4 January 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- We've heard this before: New York Gov. David Paterson hopes to select a casino operator for the Aqueduct Race Track "in the next week or so."

According to New York media, the state is nearing a deadline if hopes to have a contract in place with the operator of a planned slot machine-only casino at the New York City raceway by March 31.

The racino operator is expected to pay the state up-front fees of $200 million.

Paterson said he may be forced to announce his choice sooner rather than later if legislative leaders can't come up with a preferred candidate.

The process has been in the works for almost a year.

Five groups, all partnered with different casino operators, are in the running to operate an Aqueduct racino with 4,500 slot machine-like video lottery terminals.

Casino operators still in the mix are Harrah's Entertainment, Hard Rock, Navegante Group, MGM Mirage and Penn National Gaming. Wynn Resorts dropped out of the bidding last fall.