NEW YORK, NY (WKBW/BUFFALO BUSINESS FIRST) -- The effort by Delaware North Cos. Inc. to land the coveted Aqueduct casino operations in New York City fell short as state leaders opted to award to lucrative bid to Aqueduct Entertainment Corp.
Had Delaware North secured the Aqueduct deal, the company would have added, perhaps, as many as 100 new jobs in its downtown Buffalo headquarters.
Aqueduct Entertainment's bid proved to be attractive to Gov. David Paterson and other state leaders when the group agreed to pay the cash-starved New York $300 million by March 31 as an upfront payment. Aqueduct had originally proposed a $200 million upfront payment.
The deal is a blow to Delaware North, which in October 2008, was originally awarded the Aqueduct pact, contingent on making a $370 upfront payment by last March. A softened economy prompted Delaware North officials to seek a more graduated pay out period to the state, which Paterson rejected. The state then decided to put the Aqueduct contract out to re-bid.
At one point more than seven different groups expressed an interest in the bid.
The plan calls for some 4,500 slot machines installed in a casino that will adjoin the famed Queens horse racing track.
Aqueduct Entertainment will operate the only casino in the New York City area. The complex is accessible by a subway.
Construction is expected to start later this year.