Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Governor Paterson Releases Aqueduct VLT BID Documents

ALBANY, NY (02/16/2010)(readMedia)--

Governor David A. Paterson today publicly released all documents that were submitted to the Governor's Office and Legislature as part of the process to select an experienced gaming operator to build and operate a Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) facility at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. The documents are posted on the Governor's website and include all submissions, bids and solicitations submitted by bidders to the Governor's Office and majority leadership of the Legislature. All documents can be found at
The final selection was based on a broad range of criteria including speed of payment, pay out over time, marketing/branding appeal, union support, construction capacity, win per slot, gaming expertise, community support, MWBE program, expansion plan, SEQRA footprint and lack of conditions on meeting the above criteria.

Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG), which was selected unanimously by Speaker Silver, Senator Sampson and Governor Paterson, was at or near the top in most of these categories. AEG's strengths included: a proposal that provided the fastest construction of a new permanent gaming facility with more VLTs at opening than other bidders; experienced development, gaming and construction executives; a high and attainable "win per day" estimate of $350; broad local support; full compliance with the Division of Lottery's pre-qualification license review, a statutorily required project labor agreement and the State's MWBE goals.

Publicly released documentation includes:
-Solicitation letter and draft MOU released by the State on April 16, 2009.
- Initial memoranda of understandings submitted by bidders on May 8, 2009.
- Financial evaluations performed by bidders and submitted to State on June 24, 2009. These evaluations were performed in response to the State's questions about ability to pay the franchise fee and financing for the development of Aqueduct.
- Supplemental bid revisions received by the State on August 13 and 18, 2009.
- Information supplied by the bidders on October 20, 2009, listing investors and detailing MWBE programs.
- Submissions received on November 6 in compliance with State's request to raise the franchise fee to $200 million.
- An analysis by Public Financial Management, submitted to the State on September 18, 2009, of the bidders' "win per day" estimates.

The process to select an experienced gaming operator for Aqueduct was initially outlined in a solicitation letter that was publicly released on April 16, 2009. In that solicitation letter, potential bidders were advised that "the State reserves the right to select a Vendor on the basis of its initial proposal in response to this solicitation without further negotiation, to negotiate exclusively with one potential Vendor or to negotiate with more than one potential Vendor, to request revised or supplemental proposals from one or more potential Vendors, or to cancel this solicitation without a selection."

Further, bidders were advised in the solicitation letter that the State would "endeavor to treat as confidential the potential Vendors' proprietary business information included in the potential Vendor's proposal and clearly designated as proprietary, provided, however, that such information does not represent financial or other key business terms of the potential vendor's proposal." As such, some small items in the documents have been redacted upon request of the bidder if the information was determined to be proprietary. Private information - social security numbers, tax returns or bank account information - was not included.

Additionally, the Division of Lottery conducted a pre-qualification review to determine whether each bidder, any associated entities and principal and key individuals, met the Lottery's standards for a video lottery license. This background licensing information is being prepared for transmission by Lottery, and will be delivered to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District, in the coming weeks. At the direction of Governor Paterson, Lottery will release all of these documents, appropriately redacted with respect to certain personal information - such as social security numbers - following submission to the US Attorney.

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