Horse racing has been abuzz with the reports (or rumors) in the media over the last 24 hours that Gov. Cuomo has finally reached a decision on what he plans on doing about NYRA. Reports claim that he plans on selling off NYRA, with the hopes that a company such as Churchill Downs Inc., or the Stronach Group will buy it.
In his latest column for ESPN.com, Bob Ehalt opines that while “privatization can work, it could certainly worsen deep-rooted problems” that already exist.
If NYRA is privatized, whomever takes over the reins “will have to make back the money it pays the state just to break even,” according to Ehalt. That, of course, would not be a simple task, since the new casino that is located at Aqueduct would not be part of the deal.
“It certainly would be interesting to see how much a gaming company would be willing to pay for NYRA's assets,” Ehalt concludes. “A business outside the industry might be fooled by the hype, but an entity like Churchill Downs or Magna should be able to figure out that one of NYRA's biggest problems was the new partner of the new owner: the state.”
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