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US Financial Crisis Boosts Aqueduct VLT Push

Wednesday, 8th October 2008

The US financial crisis "has stepped up efforts to prod the state government in New York to select an operator for the long-stalled video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct & launched a renewed effort to bring VLTs to Belmont Park," reported bloodhorse.com. With the state's deficit "worsening by the week, the legislature's top Republican is pushing Governor David Paterson to immediately select 1 of 3 bidders vying to operate a facility that will include 4,500 VLTs at Aqueduct". Senate majority leader Dean Skelos told a public meeting called to address the state's fiscal problems: "We need to award the contract for VLTs at Aqueduct." New York (with its heavy financial sector) "is especially vulnerable to the current national economic meltdown: the state relies on Wall Street activity for 20% of its tax revenue". And Paterson at the meeting confirmed the state "needs to close what he believes will be a US$2 billion budget gap in the current fiscal year, without raising taxes"; in addition "recent data suggests next year's projected deficit could approach US$9 billion".

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