Thursday, July 10, 2008

Leader Of Tribe's Team Seeking N.Y. Slots At Racetrack Quits: Replaced By Etess

Feather News

The leader for one of three groups competing to build and operate a 4,500 VLT slot parlor at New York's Aqueduct Racetrack has stepped down today from his leading role in the effort.

Karl O'Farrell, the president and founder of Australian-based Capital Play, will be replaced by Mitchell Etess, the Mohegan casino's chief executive officer. Capital Play asked the Mohegan Tribe last July to join them in their bid for a slot parlor at the Queens, N.Y., racetrack. The Tribe's partners in the bid are Capital Play, Extell and Plainfield Asset Management.

Two other groups, Delaware North and the Seminole Tribe's Hard Rock-SL Green, are competing against the Mohegan Tribe's group for the 30-year franchise.

New York appears in the final stages of its selection process, one of the last steps being background checks. A Capital Play spokesman told Blood Horse News, "Karl is doing this to expedite the Lottery Division’s ability to reach closure and not hold up the process." Hank Sheinkopf also said that O'Farrell will remain with Capital Play as its community and government relations executive.

The selection of a group must be made by Gov. David Paterson and the state legislature.