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Aqueduct winter meet may shutdown

13 February 2008

ALBANY, New York -- As reported by the Albany Times-Union: "Vernon Downs on Monday became the first video gaming site in state history to go dark, and the New York Racing Association is poised to make history of its own by shutting down the winter meet at Aqueduct racetrack Thursday.

"The operators of the two tracks are joining other track owners calling for extra funds from Albany through two deals being discussed privately by the Legislature and Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

"NYRA Chairman Steve Duncker said he cannot agree to terms that are coming from the closed discussions involving a franchise extension for his nonprofit to continue operating the Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga thoroughbred tracks. The franchise expired Dec. 31, but it has been extended to Wednesday.

"...NYRA has been offered a 25-year franchise extension, $75 million to help pay off debts and $30 million for this year's operations. In exchange, NYRA would turn over the deeds to the tracks..."

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