Thursday, June 10, 2010

Aqueduct Again

Six Bidders Attend Opening Conference

By Patricia Adams

Billed as the “most expensive ticket in town” by New York Lottery Director Gordon Medenica, six bidders have shelled out the $1 million entry fee to compete in the newest bidding war to operate Video Lottery Terminals (VLT’s) at Aqueduct.

At a mandatory bidders conference held at the racetrack on Tuesday, Medenica explained the details of the new process including the extraction of any political involvement in the process. Further provisions of the revamped process propose transparency, objectivity focused on making money for education and speed.

"The facility, when it reaches maturity, is probably going to be making an estimated $250 million a year for the state. And again, all those funds go to education," said Medenica.

Several bidders have returned to the process which has met with delay and been the source of frustration for both supporters and opponents. For S.L. Green Realty
Group and Delaware North, it will be their third trip to capture the “brass ring”, and the second try for Penn National.

Three other bidders, Empire City Casino Yonkers Raceway, Genting New York and the Toronto-based Clairvest Group will make their first try for Aqueduct. Clairvest was partnered with Aqueduct Entertainment Group who won the last bid but was
later disqualified.

The Lottery’s responses to open questions from the bidders revealed that entering into the final rounds of bidding could be very risky business-- the winning bidder could lose their upfront $300 million if they can’t finalize their plan and sign a contract.

Additionally, the Lottery has said they will not guarantee Con Edison’s pledge that it can bring sufficient power to the area. Further questions by the bidders must be submitted to the Lottery by Tuesday, June 15 which then has seven days to issue their responses. Proposals from the bidders are due two weeks later on June 29. An evaluation committee comprised of executives from the NYS Lottery Commission will score and recommend a winner on August 3.

Gov. Patterson is reportedly committed to endorsing the Lottery’s selection. The Lottery estimates that the opening date for the facility will be 12 to 18 months
from the date of award.

No comments: