Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Company Awarded NYC VLT Slot Parlor Franchise Backs Out Of Deal

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Delaware North was to begin building a 4,500 VLT slot machine facility this month at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens, N.Y., but has backed out of that deal.

Delaware North was selected over two other bidders, one of them was a group that included the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and Capital Play. Another group included Hard Rock Entertainment and SL Green.

Construction was expected to take just over a year until the facility was up and running but now the state of New York may have to re-bid the project. Delaware North attributed their decision to the difficulty in obtaining financing for the project and the state's intent to add a VLT slot parlor to Belmont racetrack, also in Queens, N.Y.

Delaware North is a Buffalo-based company that also operates a slot parlor at New York's Saratoga Springs racetrack. New York officials said Delaware North was chosen because it offered the most money up front out of the three bidders.

Three other tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot, Shinnecock and Seneca tribes, were involved in an earlier bidding round that included six groups until it later dwindled to just three firms that bid on the project.

It is unclear if the Mohegans will once again express interest in bidding on the Aqueduct VLT slot parlor. Aqueduct is expected to become New York City's first legal slot parlor.

New York's rejection of the Mohegan Tribe came about a month after the state of Kansas rejected the Tribe's bid to build and operate one of four commercial casinos approved in that state. Three days after the state of Kansas rejected the Mohegan's proposal, the Tribe announced plans to halt construction of its high-rise hotel on the Reservation.

Note: The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority announced one day after this article appeared that it is interested in bidding on the Aqueduct VLT slot parlor once the state re-opens the bidding process.