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US Financial Crisis Boosts Aqueduct VLT Push
The US financial crisis "has stepped up efforts to prod the state government in New York to select an operator for the long-stalled video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct & launched a renewed effort to bring VLTs to Belmont Park," reported bloodhorse.com. With the state's deficit "worsening by the week, the legislature's top Republican is pushing Governor David Paterson to immediately select 1 of 3 bidders vying to operate a facility that will include 4,500 VLTs at Aqueduct". Senate majority leader Dean Skelos told a public meeting called to address the state's fiscal problems: "We need to award the contract for VLTs at Aqueduct." New York (with its heavy financial sector) "is especially vulnerable to the current national economic meltdown: the state relies on Wall Street activity for 20% of its tax revenue". And Paterson at the meeting confirmed the state "needs to close what he believes will be a US$2 billion budget gap in the current fiscal year, without raising taxes"; in addition "recent data suggests next year's projected deficit could approach US$9 billion".