Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken the reigns of the troubled New York Racing Association Board, saying he needs to “restore the public trust” in a rapidly changing gaming industry.
Cuomo convinced members of the independent board that oversees horse racing in New York to agree to a restructuring that will give the governor the majority of appointees on a new, slimmed down board.
The move comes after a series of controversies at the troubled New York Racing Association, which led to the recent firing of its president and top legal counsel over allegations that NYRA knowingly withheld millions of dollars owed to bettors.
The New York Racing Association is defending its authority to name its officers and operate freely in what they believe is the best interests of thoroughbred racing.
NYRA promoted two executives while the state is investigating allegations the association intentionally held back roughly $8.5 million in winnings from bettors. State government officials have threatened to replace NYRA, which operates the Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga thoroughbred tracks under a state franchise.