Governor Eliot Spitzer has announced that a stipulation agreement has been reached that will allow racing to continue in New York State past the termination of the NYRA franchise at the end of business on December 31, 2007.
Under the interim agreement, racing will be continued unchanged through January 23, 2008, after which time it is expected that NYRA will continue to run racing under a new permanent franchise. The agreement was signed by representatives of the Racing Oversight Board, the New York Racing Association, and the State Attorney General's Office on behalf of the State.
From the beginning of this process, my priority has been to ensure the stability and growth of the horseracing industry in New York State, said Spitzer in a written statement.
"I am pleased that the parties have entered into this interim arrangement today to ensure the continuity of racing. I am even more pleased that all parties are embracing a construct for racing that is consistent with the goals I've previously outlined and includes a long-term franchise for NYRA as a not-for-profit entity whose sole interest is the improvement of racing in New York State. I look forward to finalizing franchise legislation for presentation to the Legislature in January."
The agreement signed today is the product of efforts over the last 48 hours by members of the Governor's staff, NYRA and the Oversight Board following a decision Saturday by the Racing and Wagering Board that it preferred to see the extension to racing take place in the context of the agreement entered into today rather than under a temporary license from the Racing and Wagering Board. The Governor's Office has been in daily contact with representatives of the State Senate, the Assembly and NYRA regarding completing the terms of a new grant of a long-term franchise to NYRA to run racing, as was previously recommended by the Governor's Office. It is expected that these arrangements will be finalized early in the New Year.