10/01/2012 5:01PM

Cuomo signs legislation establishing New York Racing Association Reorganization Board


Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Monday that will establish the New York Racing Association Reorganization Board, essentially dissolving the current NYRA board of directors and placing the association under temporary public control.

According to a press release issued by the governor’s office, the NYRA Reorganization Board will go into effect when a majority of the current public directors are appointed. The release did not specify when that would happen, saying only that the new board would be announced “in the near future.”

The NYRA Reorganization Board will consist of 17 directors and a chairman. Cuomo will appoint seven directors and nominate a chairman for the board to approve. The Senate and Assembly will appoint two directors each, and five directors will be selected by the current NYRA board. Breeders and horsemen will each have an ex-officio member.

The current NYRA board is 25 directors, with 14 elected by NYRA and 11 appointed by the government.

The Board will be in effect for three years to restructure and reorganize NYRA, following which NYRA will revert back to majority private control, according to the release.

Once appointed, the new board will conduct a national search for a new chief executive officer and general counsel.

In May, NYRA CEO Charles Hayward and General Counsel Patrick Keogh were fired as a result of NYRA overcharging bettors a takeout rate 1 percent higher than allowed by law in certain wagers, resulting in $8.5 million being withheld from bettors.

“New York State’s racing industry is a major economic driver in the state, supporting thousands of jobs and attracting tourists from around the world,” Cuomo said in a release. “New York taxpayers and the betting public deserve a racing industry that is managed competently and does not neglect the health and safety of the horses. The NYRA Reorganization Board will restore public trust, accountability, and transparency to the racing industry in our state, so New York can continue to offer one of the most exciting, enjoyable, safe horse racing experiences in the nation.”

Sal Carcia More than 1 year ago
NYRA Job Description: Executive needed to manage a $400 million industry. Experience required in managing multiple groups that make up the enterprise with only one of them a direct report. Needed is a proven track record in managing non-direct report groups in an adversial environment at all levels. Also needed is demonstrated success in working with state government oversight agencies, legislatures and governors. Must also be adept at dealing with a hostile press and unhappy customer base. A late life career experience would be preferred given the risks of such an endeavor. Finally, low salary requirements would be a plus.
Shari Segers Sutherland More than 1 year ago
Why not nominate horsemen who are also successful business men like Mike Repole and George Hall?
geno More than 1 year ago
I feel for the NY horsemen with this buffoon Cuomo taking charge!
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
When has government control ever improved on anything? This motivation behind this may have been done with the best of intentions...just like the manner in which the road to Hell is paved...but I doubt this will make the situation better. I echo the Michael's sentiment who asks about those that will be appointed. With the Governor naming 7 directors, one can assume these chairs will go to his cronies. I also wonder just whether these appointments are for a fixed period of time, or are they "for life"?
Dennis Fisher More than 1 year ago
Thank You Governor Cuomo
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
Young Andy is still holding a grudge from his dad's days, when Denny ruled the NYRA. Denny is almost dead, so why push this. Magna is the worst, they would ruin NRYA and Churchill is only after profits and is a very one sided owner . . . not flixable with horsman at all. While issues often happen in business, one day we will look back and with for the old NYRA. Big mistake young man.
CHRIS BAUSCH More than 1 year ago
IT,s Dinny
Kristian O'Reilly More than 1 year ago
Gimme NYRA over Magna and Churchill Downs any day.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Magna is the worst.After what thet did to gulfstream they ought to be shot.
Peter Siipola More than 1 year ago
will they get rid of a certain trainer? for once and for all?
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
mikey More than 1 year ago
By any chance is his name star with a R and end with a W
michael minasian More than 1 year ago
let us see who is appointed. i hope the DRF will print a full resume of those appointed so we can make a judgement.
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
NYSRWB just as guilty as NYRA concerning the takeout scandal. Period.
Kristian O'Reilly More than 1 year ago
NYSRWB is more guilty than NYRA. They're supposed to be the regulators for crying out loud. Whatta Joke.
mikey More than 1 year ago
As much as i dislike the Gov he is just,doing what his father did undone.When pop was the Gov he had to fight the blue blood's of racing.Most of them are gone and the one's who are left don't care anymore.NYRA did this to was the one who caused this with a bad way of running thing's.We will see if it get's better one can only hope.