New York Lottery Contemplates Placing Video Casino Games at Racing Tracks

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New York Lottery Contemplates Placing Video Casino Games at Racing Tracks

Billy Murray, the Deputy Director of New York Lottery stated on June 22nd, 2009 that they are ready to move forward with their casino table games expansion plan because he does not think that proposal needs a new legislation.

Murray, who also serves as the general counsel for the New York Lottery, announced the state's plan to permit video version of standard casino games during the 8th yearly New York Gaming Summit held at the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Conference Center in Saratoga Springs. Earlier this month, the state Senate approved a bill that would have allowed the video casino table games but the Assembly has yet to review the bill.

Murray said that it is not clear whether the Assembly was planning to approve the bill before the end of the session. If critics challenge the lottery's decision to all the gains without new legislation, Murray stated that he is confident that the state would win because video casino table games are games of luck just like slot machines. The decision to allow eight state-run casino facilities to offer video casino table games could improve yearly state revenue by as much as $250 million annually.

Gary Greenberg, a resident of Valatie and shareholder at Vernon Downs, a slot machine and harness racing facility in Central New York, said that the plan will help racing tracks and improve the revenue that the state receives. Rita Cox, the senior vice president of marketing at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway said that their players have been asking for these casino games since the day they have opened to the public. She added that it will help them attract more customers and be more competitive.

Cox is not certain how many casino video table games that the Saratoga Springs Casino will offer and how much revenue it will produce. The Aqueduct thoroughbred racing track in Queens, which has been allowed to offer 4,500 slot machines, would also be allowed to offer video casino table games like craps and blackjack.

Around 7 companies had filed bids to develop a casino and hotel complex at the Aqueduct racing track. Murray stated that New York is hoping to pick an operator for the Aqueduct slots by August 1st, 2009.

An initial agreement collapsed because of the recession and the weak credit market. Governor David Paterson and the officials of each legislative chamber must agree who should receive the opportunity to manage the Aqueduct slots. The project's 4,500 slot machines are expected to produce $450 million annually in revenue.


Sophie White