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Renewed Push For New York Casino At Belmont

Wednesday, 29th October 2008

In New York, the "top Republican in the state Legislature is again calling on the governor & Democrats to back an effort to bring a casino to Belmont Park," reported bloodhorse.com. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said he wants "a plan submitted to an oversight board charged with monitoring the New York Racing Association by January 1". The call comes a few days after Skelos agreed to a deal permitting Delaware North to build & operate a long-stalled casino at Aqueduct. Skelos "is trying to use the state's sour economy as an impetus to get a Belmont casino deal: with the state facing a deficit upwards of US$9 billion next year, Skelos said a casino could bring hundreds of millions of dollars in up-front franchise fees paid to the state". Delaware North's deal for Aqueduct calls for a US$370 million up-front payment. Skelos summed up: "Now that the Legislature & the Governor have agreed to authorise Delaware North's operation of VLTs at Aqueduct, we must capitalise on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop Belmont Park, which offers some of the world's finest thoroughbred racing. It's time to build a true tourist destination that's an economic engine for the entire region.”

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