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By Joan Gralla
NEW YORK, June 29 (Reuters) - New York state’s Lottery Division on Tuesday said three groups submitted bids for a slot machine contract at New York City’s Aqueduct Racetrack, a proposal that has been stalled for around a decade.
New York had to restart the bidding for the contract to install 4,500 video lottery terminals at Aqueduct after the Lottery Division rejected the winning bidder amid state and federal probes of whether Democratic Governor David Paterson had chosen Aqueduct Entertainment Group to aid a political ally, Rev. Floyd Flake, a former Congressman.
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The winner of the lucrative contract to expand gambling at Aqueduct, located in the borough of Queens, will be announced on August 3.
Gamblers likely will have to wait another 12 months to 18 months to hit the slots, which will compete with Connecticut’s Indian casinos and New Jersey’s Atlantic City resorts.
Aqueduct can be reached by New York City’s subway and critics of the gambling expansion say it likely will draw some of the city’s poorest residents.
The Lottery Division’s evaluation committee will finish its analysis of the merits of each bid before it “opens” the envelopes that reveal whether any companies are offering more than the minimum payment of $300 million, a lottery spokeswoman said by telephone.