05/20/2010 11:00PM

NYRA says it will close June 9


The New York Racing Association notified its employees on Thursday that it will close its three racetracks beginning June 9 if the association does not receive financial assistance from the state, the association said.

The notices are required under state and federal law if a business anticipates shutting down within 60 days. NYRA announced that it had sent the notices at the same time that it is lobbying aggressively for assistance from the state because of claims by association officials that it will run out of money by the beginning of June.

NYRA said the notices were sent to more than 1,400 employees. The notices said that layoffs among employees "can be expected to begin as early as June 9."

Although some influential legislators and Gov. David Paterson have said that they are committed to finding a way to assist NYRA, other legislators have balked at providing money to the association at a time of deep budget cuts in New York.

An earlier plan to loan NYRA $17 million from a cut of its anticipated revenues from a casino at Aqueduct fell apart last week because of legal concerns over how the state can loan money.

NYRA is currently owed $17 million by the state-owned New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. In addition, an agreement NYRA made with the state in 2008 as part of a plan to emerge from bankruptcy requires the state to provide NYRA with financial assistance if the Aqueduct casino was not open by the end of the first quarter of 2009.