08/30/2012 1:23PM

New York State Racing and Wagering Board approves group seeking harness license


The New York State Racing and Wagering Board on Thursday approved the certificate of incorporation of a group that has said it would seek to obtain the state’s last remaining harness track license.

The board approved the certificate from Oswego Racing Inc., which said in a letter to the board that it intended to seek the license for a harness-racing and auto-racing facility in Hastings, a town about 20 miles north of Syracuse. The vote by the board will allow the group to seek approval from the state for its articles of incorporation, one of many steps that would need to be taken in order to secure the license.

New York statutes allow for eight harness racing licenses, and seven licenses have already been awarded. Three other groups have also indicated that they will seek the license, which would also allow the licenseholder to apply to the state’s lottery commission for approval to operate slot machines.

The eighth harness license is highly coveted because of the ability of the licenseholder to obtain the slot-machine license. In addition, the New York legislature this year passed a bill that would allow for seven full-fledged casinos provided next year’s legislature also approves the bill and the measure passes in a public referendum. The state’s existing slot-machine operators are expected to vie for the casino licenses if the measure becomes law.