02/13/2006 12:00AM

Panel to have three plans for New York


New York's Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing plans to develop three separate requests for proposals to operate the New York Racing Association's three racetracks and a casino at Aqueduct beginning in 2008, a spokesman for the committee said Monday after a meeting in New York City.

The three proposals will be based on different assumptions of how much, if at all, the New York legislature will change New York's racing laws, according to the spokesman, Scott Reif. One of the request for proposals will assume that the laws will not be changed; another will assume that the laws will change moderately; and a third will assume that the law changes dramatically, Reif said.

The nine-member committee was formed late last year to develop recommendations for the legislature and governor about how to award the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga. The franchise currently held by NYRA expires Dec. 31, 2007.

According to the Associated Press, Gary Pretlow, a new appointee to the committee, said at the Monday meeting that the committee should not "count on any sweeping changes" to the state's racing law. Among the biggest changes being discussed is a merger of the state's six offtrack betting corporations into the racetrack operator.

The committee, which took testimony from approximately 50 people during two days of public hearings in New York City, also decided to hold two more public hearings, one in either Albany or Saratoga Springs and the other in Bethpage, on Long Island, Reif said. Though no dates were scheduled, Reif said that the committee would likely set the dates "within the next month." Committee members have said they expect to release their recommendations within six months.