Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Future

At Left at the Gate. Alan has posted the artistic rendering of the racino at Aqueduct. And I couldn't agree with him more; it certainly looks like Belmont! I disagree with him as to believing Belmont to be a better location for a racino. I think it would be a shame to taint Belmont with that burden. Not that I don't expect it to become a reality I just don't want to see it. I fully expect that there will eventually be a racino at both sites. While I think I understand the realities of the situation more often than not things are not as they appear. I fully expect Capital Play to be the winning bidder simply because Bruno's sons' connection, not because it would be the best deal for everyone. One never knows where the true deal is being played out. Politics!

I also disliked the NYRA contract agreement. Specifically I don't like that they gave the title to the properties in this deal. I fully believe that they were the more rightful title holders. Why give away an asset for 25 cents on the dollar? Especially when that's based on today's values! Imagine what the value of the land is going to be worth in twenty five years! Perhaps one would need to go back to some of the great racing families and partners that had possession when NYRA was first formed and granted a franchise to find the true owners. Regardless, both parties seem to have exhibited a weakness in the belief of their claims of ownership to make such an agreement. For those at NYRA it seems a secure way to guarantee their jobs for a generation without giving up anything they own personally. It's always easy to give away your neighbor's car! Still I do believe that NYRA was and is the best choice to run NY racing. For the state I have to believe that if they thought they had any leg to stand on they would have just taken possession. The cards are stacked in their favor to begin with! I worry because I do not trust the state to look out for the well being or best interest of the industry. Here's what I expect by the time the twenty five years have past. First, I don't think Aqueduct will exist anymore. I imagine a racino surrounded by condos. I expect a racino at Belmont. I worry that Saratoga will become a full gaming facility Casino. Judging by all the high-end condos already built and continuing to be built in Saratoga one has to wonder if it isn't already in the works. I am concerned that these means of guaranteed, easier, less expensive forms of revenue will diminish the "concern" for racing and therefore its presence as a viable entity. I know every one's happy that racing hasn't stopped. But did anyone really think they were going to let it end? It's a cash cow! And without racing what excuse or location could be given for building the racinos that are just going to get the state even more revenue? Ditto for the NYC OTB's! Be careful of a government bearing gifts... Just my two-cents!

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