Two Aqueduct bidders reveal video lottery plans

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Two bidders vying for the right to install video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Race Track became the first companies to publicly unveil their proposals this month.

Aqueduct Entertainment Group said its proposal to install 4,500 VLTs includes building a racing museum dedicated to Aqueduct, retail and dining, a 2,400-car garage and an enclosed walkway from the A train leading to Aqueduct.

Under the group’s plan, the VLTs would be located on the second and third floors of the four-story Aqueduct complex. Also on the second floor plans are a green roof, bars and restaurants. Joining the VLTs on the third floor are the racing museum, a 1,200-seat buffet, retail shops and restaurants.

Douglaston-based Levine Builders, a developer, is part of the team that makes up Aqueduct Entertainment Group.

MGM Grand at Aqueduct, a group led by R. Donohue Peebles — the largest black developer in the country — and MGM Entertainment, said its plans call for a 350-room hotel, fine dining, a state-of-the-art meeting center and an entertainment venue. It also plans to construct 4,500 VLTs — devices similar to slot machines.

“Don Peebles and MGM have a reputation for luxurious products and our proposed development will be in align with their respective properties,” said Peebles Corporation spokeswoman Kendall Pryles in an e-mail.

Pryles said construction on the group’s project would take 1 1/2 years if its plans are selected as the winning bid.

Gov. David Paterson and the state Legislature are to choose a winning bidder for the VLT contract.

Paterson selected Buffalo-based Delaware North to run the VLTs in November, but the company was not able to follow through on the project because it could not come up with a $36 million upfront payment it promised the state.

At that time, Peebles was part of Delaware North’s bid. The developer decided to form his own group with MGM to submit a separate proposal after Paterson reopened the bidding process.

The state estimates it will receive $1 million in revenue, to go toward education, once the VLTs are built.

Delaware North has resubmitted a bid to the state. Other bidders include SL Green, Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn, Mohegan Sun and Penn National Gaming.

Aqueduct Entertainment Group and MGM are the only two so far to make their proposals publicly available.

The plans can be accessed at and

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

Posted 6:31 pm, October 10, 2011
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