For New Yorkers, a casino will soon be a mere subway ride away.
Or a racino, to use the gambling industry’s term: a gambling emporium built into the Aqueduct thoroughbred track in Queens that will include 4,500 video slot machines, but no table games.
Desperate for revenue, the state has put plans to develop a racino at Aqueduct on the fast track. While the plan has been at various stages for years, state officials are aiming to choose among the three bidders vying to develop the racino in a matter of weeks, though final agreements among state leaders often prove elusive in Albany.
But given the weakening economy and widening budget deficits, the state is motivated to expedite the process, and a bidding group led by the developer Stephen L. Green and the operators of the Hard Rock Cafe chain is even promising to open a temporary racino by the end of this year.
Short on Cash, State Hastens Plan for Casino in City