by Jerry Bossert
For once, there were smiles at Aqueduct.
In what was the most significant gathering at the decaying race track since the Pope held Mass there in 1995, Gov. Paterson and several politicians Thursday finally held the ground-breaking ceremony for the casino, nine years after it was approved by state legislation.
The casino, which will be called Resorts World New York, will be run by Genting New York LLC, a subsidiary of Genting Malaysia, and is expected to generate $300 million annually for the state, bring jobs to the area and revitalize horse racing.
by Paul Post
The impact of Thursday’s Aqueduct racino groundbreaking is already giving the local thoroughbred racing and breeding industry a monumental boost.
Five super stallions including 1997 Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold and Breeders Cup Classic champion Alphabet Soup arrived at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds LLC on Wednesday, along with 20 mares.
The racino, slated to open next spring with 1,600 video lottery terminals, is expected to generate more than $650 million in gross gaming revenues annually once its 4,525 gaming machines become fully operational a year from now.
by David Grening
At 12:05 p.m. Thursday – a mere 3,291 days after legislation passed allowing casinos to be built at New York racetracks – the New York Racing Association’ chairman, Steven Duncker, stood in a corner of the first floor of Aqueduct, wearing a hard hat and safety goggles and holding a mallet.
A minute later, Duncker, along with politicians, union workers, and officials from the Malaysian-based company Genting New York, smashed individual square blocks of concrete in a ceremonial groundbreaking of a casino many felt would never be built.
Though the start of real construction remains several weeks away, the reality of a casino at Aqueduct – one that will include 4,525 slot machines by the fall of 2011 – has started to sink in. The first phase of the project, which is likely to include 3,000 slot machines, is scheduled for completion by next Memorial Day.
by Paul Post
Gov. David Paterson will join a variety of businesspeople and elected officials Thursday for the long-awaited ceremonial groundbreaking on Aqueduct’s new racino.
A minimum of 1,600 video lottery terminals are slated to come on line next May, and all 4,525 machines are expected to be operating six months after that. The racino is projected to generate at least $650 million per year in gross gaming revenue, giving New York’s thoroughbred industry a huge financial boost and long-term economic stability.
by Bryan Yurcan
An official groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of work on the Aqueduct Racetrack redevelopment project is scheduled for Oct. 28 at 11 a.m.
Genting New York LLC, which won state approval in September to construct a dining and entertainment facility that will feature 4,500 video lottery terminals at the dilapidated race track, will host the ceremony.
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By Danny Hakim
Jennifer Cunningham is one of this city’s most prominent lobbyists, best known for her advocacy on behalf of 1199/S.E.I.U. United Healthcare Workers East, arguably Albany’s most powerful special interest.
At the same time, Ms. Cunningham is among the closest political advisers to the man who many Democrats hope will be the next New York governor: Andrew M. Cuomo.
Mr. Cuomo’s promise to clean up the ethical swamp in Albany has helped him rejuvenate his political career, and will undoubtedly be a theme in his campaign for governor.
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by Rick Karlin
Barack Obama was elected President on Nov. 4, right? Wrong.
Actually, he'll be elected today, when the Electoral College votes.
Here in New York, the vote will take place in the ornate state Senate chamber, where the electors -- who, technically speaking, are the people you voted for last month -- will gather.
While the Electoral College vote is procedural, it's the central act in what a growing chorus of critics say is a woefully outmoded system for choosing a president.
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by Anne Michaud
Jennifer Cunningham has been called the most powerful unelected woman in New York politics.
As the former political director for the state's largest health care union, 1199 Service Employees International Union, as well as the successful manager of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's 2006 campaign, Ms. Cunningham, 45, is a rising star.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer signed a bill Thursday to partially ban a wood preservative linked to health and environmental problems.
The law will partially end the manufacture, sale and use of creosote, a mixture of chemicals derived by high-temperature treatment of coal, tar or wood. It will phase out the manufacture, sale and use of creosote as of Jan. 1, 2008, and after Jan. 1, 2010, for existing marinas and other facilities used for the berthing, mooring and storage of vessels.
It provides exemptions for the largest users of creosote, such as railroads and utilities.
- Gannett News Service