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NEW YORK CITY-After several months of three-way discussions, Gov. Paterson and assembly speaker Sheldon Silver recommended that Buffalo, NY-based Delaware North operate the Video Lottery Terminal facility located at Aqueduct Race Track in the Queens borough of New York City. The bids were examined and underwent “significant due diligence,” including another review over the past few weeks to ensure financial viability in light of the turmoil in the markets, according to a prepared statement.

Of the bids put forth, Delaware North presents the strongest financial proposal with an up front payment of $370 million, according to an Assembly statement. “Combined with their successful track record as a partner of Saratoga Gaming, Finger Lakes Gaming and Fairgrounds Gaming, and with vast experience operating VLTs, Delaware North will build and operate a successful facility for the State of New York which will provide additional vital resources for the local Queens community, the Upstate economy, and education needs throughout the State,” the statement says.

The Governor revealed that he is pleased that Delaware North is committed to a process to specifically address the Queens community’s development needs and will effectively build on that effort in future development phases. Delaware North, which operates other combined race tracks and casinos in upstate New York, offered the state the biggest upfront payment of any the other bidders, republican senate majority leader Dean Skelos says in a statement.

Delaware North was unable to be reached for comment by deadline. Following the awarded deal though, Senate Republican leaders put the brakes on a final deal, saying more needs to be done by the company before it signs off. In response, Gov. Paterson issued a statement saying that this is the best deal for all New Yorkers.

New York City developer SL Green Realty Corp. and its partners, led by Hard Rock Entertainment, offered $250 million, while Capital Play, whose partners include Mohegan Sun casino, offered the state $100 million. As GlobeSt.com previously reported, SL Green’s proposal to revitalize the Aqueduct Racetrack did gain endorsement from local labor unions, however its plan ensured $250 million up front to the State of New York. GlobeSt.com will update as more information becomes available.

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