06/18/2012 1:24PM

Bill calling for state takeover of NYRA introduced


A bill was introduced on Saturday in the New York legislature that would put in place a plan endorsed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo providing for state control of the board of directors of the New York Racing Association for three years.

The bill codifies an agreement reached in May between NYRA and Cuomo’s administration. Under the bill, Cuomo will appoint eight members of the new NYRA board, including its chairman. The leadership of the state Senate and Assembly will receive two appointments each, and NYRA will receive five appointees.

NYRA’s board currently consists of 25 members. State officials control 11 appointees to the board under the current structure.

The bill states that the new board will “become effective upon appointment of a majority of public members,” and that the board will be dissolved “three years from the date of its creation.” A provision in the bill requires board members to disclose any financial interests in racing or breeding.

The bill also allows the organizations representing New York’s horsemen and its breeders to appoint one non-voting member each to the board.

Cuomo and state officials pushed NYRA to dissolve and reconstitute its board after the association came under intense criticism this winter over its management policies and a spate of deaths at the inner-track meet at Aqueduct. It also came at a time when casino lobbyists are intensely lobbying for approval to operate new facilities and games in the state. The largest casino in the state is located at Aqueduct and is operated by a Malaysian company, Genting New York. NYRA and the state’s horsemen and breeders receive approximately 15 percent of the revenue from the casino.

In its opening language, the bill states that it is necessary to put in place a new board at NYRA because “the structure of gaming and racing is undergoing change in New York,” a reference to the possibility that casinos will be dramatically expanded in the state under a plan supported by Cuomo. This year, the legislature passed a bill allowing for the establishment of seven new casinos through a constitutional amendment. Under New York laws, a constitutional amendment has to be passed by two successive legislatures and then be approved by voters in a referendum.

If the casino-expansion bill is ultimately approved, Cuomo and the legislature will control NYRA at a time when casino operators will be seeking new locations for casinos under new revenue-sharing agreements. NYRA’s sprawling Long Island racetrack, Belmont Park, has often been cited as an attractive location for a new casino.

jeffries Will More than 1 year ago
bad news for you Kurt but its not my money that's paying out the pros like you. unfortunately for you, i am good enough not to need a.s. valued opinion. in fact he typically makes me money by getting off the horses he picks. no one picks every winner, capt obv, but no good horse player wins at less 10 percent and makes money. except for u and a.s. of course. pls keep calling me the idiot and leave your money at the door
Kurt K More than 1 year ago
again your ignorance shines through...I am what I would consider a "very good " handicapper, yet I listen because they have information I cannot get elsewhere, including tips that you and I have zero access to. So let me get this straight- you're suggesting A.S.. wins/ picks less than 10% of the time? Or me? And yes you are an idiot, as a matter of fact, when Saratoga opens up, I will be there for my 27th year on opening day and I will name a betting window for you- the "Will" Call window- I'll cash my tickets there, knowing it's money from you and the others like you that think that A.S. and M.W. give bad information.
Kurt K More than 1 year ago
That would be "Will Call" window.
jeffries Will More than 1 year ago
first off, i said nothing of the sort about m.w. i find her info to be very insightful. fortunately for me, that is not all the information i have access to so while u claim my ignorance, i am fortunate to have multiple sources to rely upon, the least accurate of which is a.s. second, i have no idea or way of knowing how well you do or dont do at the track and honestly i dont care. name your window after me but you're not leaving with my money
Thomas Noonan More than 1 year ago
I think the real unanswered question here is why this action is necessary now - setting aside whether it is necessary at all. Casinos are not happening anytime soon; there is after all, the pesky necessity of getting approval by voters. Another reason cited in the legislation is the new State Gaming Commission. Even though this was created by a law passed in March, the Governor has apparently not done anything to implement it, so the NYRA bill delays its implementation until February. The law is titled the "Accountability and Transparency Act," even though it does nothing to accomplish either goal. If the Governor is committed to transparency, why doesn't he ask his super PAC, which received at least $2.4 million from casino interests in 2011, to identify its donors? tnoonan.com
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
i say let the fbi run the track!,think of the advantages real testing,competent investigation of betting rings,forensic analysis of miracle trainers stables,video survailance reviews of suspicious jockey rides.things that would never happen under their supervision gate guy holding on to favorites tail at start,multiple positives by trainers going unpunished,top jockey stiffing favorites.im just kidding ofcourse nothing like this happens right.
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
I don't like the NYRA by any means. Cronies to the Max. Lackey's & sycophants abound. Butts:Does anybody understand that dealing w/a government entity is a nightmare. These public people produce absolutely nothing. CVS.........
jeffries Will More than 1 year ago
more importantly, could they fire andy serling? that would help ny racing more than anything they have done in the last 20 yrs
Kurt K More than 1 year ago
You are yet another idiot who thinks that Andy Serling doesn't know what he is doing. The OTB's in my area are full of guys like you who run their mouths while the guy is talking. Those of us with half a brain in their heads listen to A.S. and Maggie as well- they are some of the few people in the world that get PAID to pick horses. They are knowledgeable and have access to inside information. Open your ears and maybe people like you will cash a ticket for a change. A.S. had several winners Saturday for example- the 6 in the first paid $27.60. Nobody is going to pick a winner every race- listen to what they have to say, and include the information in your decision making- especially if you are a pick 6,4 3, or triple player Maybe you'll learn that the betting windows don't just take your money. Andy, Maggie- looking forward to seeing you in Saratoga. Jeffries- it's guys like you that make this game so great- you feed the pools and we take your money!
jeffries Will More than 1 year ago
NY racing sucks anyway! NY govt sucks even more! Cuomo can only make it worse,God help us all if he becomes president
ngunn7 More than 1 year ago
I don't give a damn who runs the track, can we get some more creative wagering opportunities. How about an early pk5 with lower takeout like CA tracks have.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Ya know, as much as yall need me to shoot my mouth off... I am staying well clear of this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
New York racing with all it's problems is still the BEST circuit in the whole country. Let's hope Cuomo ( who just wants to become President in four years) does not ruin a good thing!
mikey More than 1 year ago
The GOV is doing what his old man could not do get rid of NYRA.Guess he has more gut's than pop had.NYRA was a bunch of i don't give a dam bunch of guy's.But knowing how NEW YORK DOE'S THING'S it will be much more screwed up if that's possible.
mrm More than 1 year ago
Look, NYRA is not perfect by a long shot but it's better than a state takeover. The politicians are using this an opportunity to get their hands on more casino revenue. They don't care about horses, farms, taxpayers etc.