Aqueduct Deal Done
By Domenick Rafter
Genting New York's bid to develop and manage the Aqueduct "racino" won its final approval this week from the "three men in the room."
Gov. David Paterson, Senate Democratic Conference Chairman John Sampson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver all signed off on the deal, allowing it to move forward.
"Nothing is more important than creating jobs. The acceptance of Genting puts New York on the fast track to rebuild our local and state economy through sound economic development and immediate and long-term job creation," Sampson said Tuesday.
Both leaders acted on the advice of the chairmen of each house's racing committee, Sen. Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Yonkers). At a hearing on Monday with Genting officials, Adams pressured both Sampson and Silver to approve the deal by the end of the week.
Once the deal is complete, Genting will pay the $380 million fee to the state and work will begin on the project. Gov. Paterson expressed impatience in the state legislative leaders earlier this week for taking so long to approve the deal after the Division of the Lottery gave its approval to Genting on Aug. 3.
"The quicker that we can make a decision, which always seems to be a problem when it comes to this issue, the faster we can get this money into our economy," Paterson said Tuesday.
The next step in the process is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding finalizing the deal, which is expected to be a mere formality.
Reach Reporter Domenick Rafter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125.