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Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Wynn a longshot for Aqueduct casino

15 September 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- A New York business publication handicapped the bidding for a potentially lucrative casino complex at New York's historic Aqueduct Race Track that has attracted interest by several of the top casino operators.

A proposal by Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts Ltd., was made the longest of long-shots to win the bid by Crain's New York Business, but not before the publication wrote a glowing profile on company Chairman Steve Wynn.

The article's author called Wynn a "debonair 67-year-old with a toothy 150-watt smile and a perma-tan."

For his part, Wynn touted the Mobile five-star and Michelin five-star rating earned by his company's Wynn Las Vegas.

"I make people feel good and special. That is what I do," Wynn said to Crain's.

The publication, however, said Wynn has the longest odds of the six bidders because he wouldn't open his facility until 2011, lacks New York connections, experience and partners and has strained relations with local unions.

Which bid has the best shot, according to Crain's? The partnership that includes Las Vegas-based Navegante Group, which promises to open the casino by April 1, is touted to be the leading candidate.

New York Gov. David Paterson is expected to make a decision on the winner sometime this month.

Wynn a longshot for Aqueduct casino is republished from