12/19/2011 4:30PM

NYRA loss larger than expected, but profit foreseen in 2012

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The New York Racing Association did not meet its budget projections in 2011, contributing to a larger-than-expected loss this year, but it expects to turn a profit in 2012 for the first time in years, officials for the association told the New York State Franchise Oversight Board during a meeting on Monday.

Ellen McClain, NYRA’s chief operating officer, said that expenses for retirement and medical programs ran over budget for 2011. In addition, revenue was lower than expected because the association had expected to begin receiving subsidies from a casino located at the track in September, roughly two months earlier than the casino ended up opening.

NYRA, however, expects to generate a profit in 2012, McClain said, largely because of subsidies from the casino, which is generating more revenue than projected by NYRA or the casino’s operator, the Genting Group. The casino’s slot machines and electronic games are each generating in excess of $500 a day, a figure that tops any other casino operating on the East Coast.

McClain said that NYRA has budgeted for its revenue from racing to increase approximately 6 percent in 2012, citing projections that average field sizes at NYRA tracks will benefit from purse subsidies provided by the casino. Approximately 7.5 percent of the casino’s revenue goes to purse subsidies and breeder awards under New York law.