Bonds News

New York again seeks slots for Aqueduct Racetrack

NEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) - New York state is again seeking companies to add slot machines to Aqueduct Racetrack, and is offering to issue $250 million of tax-exempt bonds to help pay for the project, state officials said on Friday.

Casino companies have vied for the Aqueduct contract because the racetrack is located in New York City’s borough of Queens and within easy reach of its subways and commuter trains.

The competition to turn Aqueduct into a casino must be reopened because Delaware North, which was awarded the contract, in March failed to raise the $370 million upfront payment the cash-strapped state demanded.

New York state, which has seen its tax revenues slide with Wall Street’s profits, will again require the winning bidder to pay an upfront franchise fee. A spokesman for Governor David Paterson could not immediately say how much the fee would be.

The list of previous bidders, who now face a May 8 deadline if they still wish to give casinos in New Jersey and Conneciticut a run for their money, included the Seminole tribe, which was expected to partner with SL Green Realty Corp SLG.N along with Hard Rock Casinos, and the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and the Victoria Racing Club, which were working with New York-based Capital Play.