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Comptroller fears NYRA could soon run out of money

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The state's top finance official says the New York Racing Authority is once again facing a financial crisis. NYRA already got a $250 million loan from the state to operate racetracks, including Saratoga Raceway, this summer. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says he's putting auditors on site there to monitor NYRA's operations.
An audit shows the NYRA faces insolvencey unless it cuts more spending and starts getting revenue from a casino at Aqueduct that doesn't exist yet.

Karen DeWitt reports.racetrack.

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Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent

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State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says the New York Racing Association is once again facing possible insolvency if a contract to expand gambling and introduce slot-like machines at the Aqueduct race track is not settled soon. In the meantime, the Comptroller says he's placing a team of auditors at the upcoming Saratoga meet to monitor day-to-day transactions at the financially troubled state authority. "NYRA is on very shaky financial ground," said DiNapoli. "And there's too much at stake to let NYRA continue its fiscal mismanagement."

State officials have been trying to build the slot-like machines for nine years. They say they have finally chosen one bidder. But DiNapoli wonders if a final deal can actually be reached. The state already loaned NYRA $25 million in June to help it limp through the summer racing season. Betting on horses is on the decline both in New York and nationally and DiNapoli says NYRA has not done enough to cut expenses.

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