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Aqueduct deal official as DiNapoli signs off on contract

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli signed off on the video lottery terminal contract for Aqueduct Race Track Monday afternoon, giving Genting NY LLC the final approval it needed to officially become the winning bidder for the project.

“After nearly a decade of false starts and broken promises, the VLT contract is done,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “This is one of the most important vendor contracts New York has ever signed.”

“My office did this right and we did it expeditiously without sacrificing thoroughness,” the comptroller said, referring to accusations that he was holding up the deal. “We took every step to ensure the taxpayers are safeguarded in this contract. It’s New Yorkers’ money; it’s my job to protect it.”

Genting, a subsidiary of Malaysian-based Genting Malaysia Berhad, was recommended as the winning bidder by the state Lottery Division in early August.

Since then, the company gained the approval of Gov. David Paterson, state Sen. John Sampson (D-Brooklyn), Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

DiNapoli’s approval Monday sealed the deal.

“Genting Malaysia Berhad is honored to have earned final approval to begin building a new facility at Aqueduct,” Genting Malaysia Berhad Chairman K.T. Lim said in a statement. “We are eager to begin investing, creating jobs, sparking economic activity and bringing New York a one-of-a-kind, iconic entertainment destination.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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