Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Anniversary Mr. Spitzer

Today, March 10, 2009, is the 1-year anniversary of the revelation of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s connection to a prostitution ring.

At that time when not busy under the sheets, the "luv Gov" had on his desk a number of "things to do" including naming the organization that would operate video lottery terminals (VLT's) at Aqueduct.

After Spitzer's fall from grace Governor Patterson picked up the baton and on October 10 2008 chose the Delaware North Cos. Inc. to operate 4,500 video lottery terminals at the Big A. Groundbreaking was originally scheduled for January 2009.

Now on the one year anniversary, no groundbreaking has been done at the Big A, and with no formal agreement in place, no shoveling is scheduled.

On Feb. 11, 2009 NYRA President Charles Hayward said:

“We have been given no indication from the state or Delaware North as to when the groundbreaking at Aqueduct will take place and that date cannot be estimated until the [memorandum of understanding] is executed. Obviously we are very concerned for NYRA’s racing program and its stakeholders, and I am more concerned as a citizen of the State of New York that the state is foregoing [more than] $300-million in annual revenues as the delay continues.”

Even more confusing, now Patterson is pushing his "Empire State Development Plan" which includes a proposed VLT and Hotel development at Belmont Park.

But for now, one year after the Spitzer debacle not one shovel is in the ground at Belmont or Aqueduct. Is there any doubt that next year on March 10, 2010 we will still be sitting here with shovel in hand and dirt not yet dug?

1 comment:

SaratogaSpa said...

UPDATE--Delware North announced today Today it cannot meet a deadline to make its $370 million franchise fee payment for the Aqueduct racino project.