ALBANY-The one-horse race for a contract to develop a racino atAqueduct Racetrack in Queens has ended with the state lottery’spick for the job, Genting New York LLC, getting the key approvalsit needed. A spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver toldGlobeSt.com Thursday afternoon that Silver expected to put hissignature on the memorandum of understanding for the contract laterthat day. John Sampson, the Senate Majority Conference Leader,announced his endorsement of Genting on Tuesday, and Gov. DavidPaterson had signaled his support shortly after the LotteryDivision sent him a letter recommending Genting.

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“Nothing is more important than creating jobs,” Sampson said ina statement issued Tuesday. The acceptance of Genting puts New Yorkon the fast track to rebuild our local and state economy throughsound economic development and immediate and long-term jobcreation.” GlobeSt.com’s calls Thursday to the governor’s officeand the lottery were not returned by deadline. Following signing ofthe MOU by the three political leaders, the final steps beforeawarding a contract would be approvals by the state attorneygeneral’s office and controller Thomas DiNapoli.

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The assignment of the Aqueduct contract to Genting would markthe third such award in less than two years. Delaware Northwithdrew as developer of the 328,000-square-foot video lotteryfacility in early 2009, citing difficulty with coming up with therequired upfront licensing fee. A consortium known as AqueductEntertainment Group was awarded the assignment earlier this year,only to lose it amid controversy over the selection process.

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In its application, Malaysia-based Genting offered an upfrontlicensing fee of $380 million, exceeding the $300-million paymentrequired by the RFP, according to the Lottery’s report to Paterson.“Genting and its related entities are qualified to receive VideoLottery licenses and have the financial wherewithal to meet thefinancial obligations of the project,” the report states. “Gentingreceived a score of 95 out of 100 in our technical and financialevaluation.”

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The gaming company, which says it can start work on the racinoproject six months after it’s awarded the contract, is proposing aphased development process that will begin with 1,600 video lotteryterminals. A second phase, which would open six months later, willbring the facility up to the full complement of 4,525 VLTs andwould also include a 2,100-space parking garage and a newpedestrian bridge to the Aqueduct subway station, followed by afinal phase with completion of abatement activities andconstruction of a front canopy.

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For Genting, which began with a 30-table hilltop casino inMalaysia 40 years ago, the Aqueduct racino would be its first USdevelopment project. In a June interview with Bloomberg, JustinLeong, head of strategic investments and corporate affairs atparent company Genting Bhd., said his company was “aggressivelysearching for opportunities to invest in the US casino gamingmarket. Our strategy is building a US presence.”

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To that end, Genting made its first investment in US gaming lastyear by acquiring MGM Mirage bonds. It’s armed with $1.7 billion incash and has no debt, according to Bloomberg.

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