05/07/2009 11:00PM

New bids in for Aqueduct slots


Seven companies submitted bids on Friday to the state of New York to build and operate a casino at Aqueduct racetrack, according to New York Gov. David Paterson, in the second go-round of a process that has been plagued by stops and starts for more than seven years.

The companies are Aqueduct Entertainment Group, Delaware North Cos., Mohegan Sun, Peebes Developments Group, Penn National Gaming, SL Green Realty Corporation, and Development Associates, a subsidiary of Wynn Resorts Limited, the casino operator.

Friday afternoon was the deadline for companies to express interest in building and operating the casino, which has been approved for 4,500 slot machines.

Casinos were legalized at nine New York racetracks in 2001, but political and financial considerations surrounding Aqueduct's franchise holder, the New York Racing Association, has hampered efforts to get the casino at the track up and running.

Last October, the state selected Delaware North to build and operate the casino under the aegis of the state lottery, but the company's plans collapsed because of the rapid deterioration in the credit markets and Delaware North's unwillingness to grant the state a lump-sum payment of a promised $370 million fee. The state announced that it would reopen the bidding process in mid-April.

The winning bidder will be selected by Paterson, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

A spokesman for the governor said late on Friday that the office did not yet have complete information on the makeup of Aqueduct Entertainment Group. The other companies are a mix of gambling and real-estate development companies.