Casino Loan To Help New York Racing Association Out Of Financial Trouble

May 24th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

David Patterson, the governor of the state of New York has brought forth legislation that would let the New York Racing Association receive $25 million in a loan from the erection of a casino that is currently under construction to be located as the Aqueduct racetrack.

The NYRA is under extreme financial stress, warning that they might not be able to sustain themselves throughout the summer months if something is not able to be done by then.  A week prior, the NYRA composed letters to 1,400 employees of the Association hinting at the fact that they may have to shut down beginning June 9.

The proposal set forth by Patterson would allow the NYRA to take part of a $250 million loan to construct the casino.

Under the terms, the NYRA would have until March 31, 2011 to pay back the loan.  A failure to do so would result in the New York lottery having to pay back the debt.

“It’s the craziest thing I ever heard of,” Hall of fame horse trainer Bill Mott said. “Racing generates a lot of money for the state and creates a lot of jobs. It seems like some politicians are just interested in what they can get today or this week, and racing’s been around in New York for over 100 years. It’s hard to imagine anybody would let it fizzle away.”

The proposal and implementation of is contingent upon both houses of the New York legislature.

“We are discussing proposals to ensure NYRA’s continued operations,” remarked Dan Weiller, who is a a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office.

Mott does not believe that it would be necessary for NYRA to shut down, and does not find any reason why it should.

“The state is still in for a good percentage of the action,” Mott stated. “If they shut it down, they’re making nothing. All NYRA wants is what they’ve got coming to them. People are betting on the product. That’s not the problem. The revenue that it’s generating isn’t being put in the right spot. There should be more going to the track (NYRA) for capital improvements, maintenance and purses.”

With the third leg of the triple crown in horse racing still to take place later this summer, USA Online Sportsbooks are fielding several prop bets, with the filed yet to be determined.

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