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NEW YORK CITY-The state is seeking new proposals to build and operate a 328,000-square-foot video lottery terminal facility at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, following the collapse last month of Delaware North’s deal to develop the racino there. Applications are due by close of business on Friday, May 8.

“Growing our economy through job creation and economic development projects such as the implementation of VLTs at Aqueduct will move our state toward the type of new economy New York needs to get back on track,” says state Senate majority leader Malcolm Smith in a release. “Though it is disappointing that the process has been slowed due to the struggling economy, I am confident that we can find a new partner to build Aqueduct into a gaming location that bolsters the local and state economy.” Citing difficulties in obtaining financing, Delaware North pulled out in early March after announcing that it would miss the deadline on a $370-million upfront payment to the state.

An updated version of the state’s memorandum of understanding was made public on Friday. Under the revised MOU, the state would enter into a 30-year agreement with the winning bidder, with a possible 10-year extension. The winning bidder would pay the full amount of its proposed upfront franchise fee no later than 10 business days after the execution of the MOU. The state would issue $250 million worth of personal income tax bonds through the Empire State Development Corp. to finance eligible VLT project costs.

The racino facility would be constructed by the VLT vendor, “which will be responsible for its design and construction subject to the terms of the MOU and applicable laws and regulations,” according to a release. Neither ESDC nor the state will be responsible for construction or cost overruns, the release states.

Bidders on the project may propose modifications to this MOU, and the proposed changes will be considered by Gov. David Paterson, Smith and Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver. The three men will also decide the winning bidder. To review the solicitation letter and MOU, visit www.ny.gov/governor/aqueduct.

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