- Casino gambling came to NYC today. Well, almost. It's just slots, and it's at Yonkers Raceway, a few miles north of the city border. While the state continues to dither over the planned racino at Aqueduct, 1,870 machines debuted at the harness track today. And there's many, many more to come.
"Our plans are within a short period of time to go up to 7,500 machines," said Tim Rooney, general counsel for the raceway and son of its owner, also named Tim. "Once we hit that number, we'll probably be the largest slots venue in the country."....He estimated that full growth to 7,500 would take up to 18 months. [NY Daily News]But how about the harness racing? The track has been closed for 15 months now, and horsemen were originally told that the closure would last for just five. The Standardbred Owners Association went to court over the extended interruption, and got a promise that the dates would be made up. Considering that the track had been running year round ever since Roosevelt closed so many years ago, it's hard to imagine how exactly they intend to do that.
Rooney says that racing will indeed resume "within a week or two." But Joe Faraldo, the president of the owners group is skeptical. "Take a walk around the place....You don't have a goddamn thing that looks like a racetrack to me." And the horsemen, who were planning on picketing the opening this morning, are planning to see a judge once again. Faraldo said horsemen planned to go to court today to ask a judge to determine under what authority the track is opening the casino without live racing. [Journal News]
- Pennsylvania's first racino is scheduled to open at Pocono Downs (where they do have harness racint) on November 14.