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New York still trying to put 4,500 slots at Aqueduct

Of three gambling companies that submitted bids on June 29th for the franchise rights to operate slot machines at the Aqueduct racetrack, two have been disqualified. The remaining company with an active bid, Genting New York, is a subsidiary of Genting Group of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The New York Lottery disqualified two bidders, Penn National Gaming and a combined proposal by SL Green Realty Corporation, Hard Rock Cafe International and Clairvest Group, because their proposals failed to comply with the terms of the bidding process. The Lottery said that both parties submitted “altered versions” that sought to rewrite the conditions set by the state in an effort to negotiate more favorable terms for their companies.

Penn National Gaming, for example, wanted to be able to terminate its lottery license after four consecutive unprofitable quarters. SL Green sought to sidestep the upfront licensing fee of $300 million by placing it in an escrow account until the state met certain of its conditions.

The New York Lottery will make a recommendation to Governor David A. Paterson and the New York State Legislature on August 3rd.

In 2001, the New York State Legislature approved the installation of 4,500 electronic slot machines, one of the most popular casino table games, at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. Since 2001, New York has tried four times to choose a gambling operator for the Aqueduct “racino” project. A racino is a location featuring both a casino and a race track.