Tuesday, September 4, 2007

New York Governor to Announce Racetrack Operator on Tuesday

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is expected to announce on Tuesday his decision on which firm will run the state’s three racetracks for the next twenty years. Four firms submitted bids, including Capital Play, an Australian management team which asked the Mohegan Tribe to join their group's bid for the franchise.

New York Racing Association (NYRA) is now running the racetracks in a contract that is set to expire at the end of December. The other two firms are Excelsior Racing and Empire Racing.

In 2006 and part of 2007, it was revealed that these four firms have spent over $2 million in campaign contributions and lobbying efforts. Governor Spitzer was the major benefactor, receiving $632,000 in campaign contributions from the companies bidding on the racetracks.

Excelsior Racing alone paid $403,579 in campaign contributions to the governor. Capital Play CEO Karl O’Farrell was reported saying that he’s concerned that other firms spent two to three times more than his firm in contributions and lobbying.

The state legislature must approve the governor’s recommendation, which may not be an easy task considering recent tension between the governor and the state’s senate majority leader Joseph Bruno.

Check the "In The News" section of the Feather News on Tuesday for other news updates covering the governor's announcement.