Created more than 50 years ago so that New York State could share in the boom in racing that followed World War II, The New York Racing Association, Inc., holds the exclusive right to conduct racing at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga until 2033.
NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of the state’s thoroughbred business, which contributes more than $2 billion annually to New York State’s urban, suburban and rural economy.
In 2012, more than 1.7 million people attended the live races at NYRA tracks. On-track wagering, including simulcasting, increased 7.9 percent to $674.9 million from $625.3 million in 2011. All-sources handle was up 11.8 percent to $2.5 billion compared to $2.2 billion in 2011. According to Equibase, handle on all races in the United States rose 1 percent to $10.9 billion in 2012 from $10.8 billion in 2011; the $232 million increase on NYRA’s races was more than double the $103 million industry-wide increase.
NYRA’s beginnings date back to 1955, when the Greater New York Association acquired the assets of the four racing associations operating Belmont, Jamaica, Saratoga and Aqueduct racetracks.
Within four years, the NYRA had demolished the old Aqueduct and in 1959 opened the modern Aqueduct. Jamaica Race Track was closed down the same year and its property sold for use as a housing development. From 1963 through 1968, Belmont Park was shuttered as a new grandstand was built.
In 2011, Resorts World New York City Casino, operated by Genting New York LLC, opened at Aqueduct Racetrack. Revenue from the casino is directed to help education in the state as well as ensure long-term stability for the racing industry. In 2012, at the direction of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, a temporary publicly controlled body was put in place to transform management of thoroughbred racing in New York. The NYRA Reorganization Board consists of 17 members; eight appointed by the Governor; two directors each appointed by the Senate and Assembly, and five directors appointed by the former NYRA Board.
- Client Aqueduct Race Course
- Date March 28, 2014
- Tags Thoroughbred