SOURCE: Aqueduct Gaming LLC

Aqueduct Gaming LLC

August 24, 2009 16:29 ET

Aqueduct Gaming Announces the Addition of the Harrah's Brand to Its Plans for Aqueduct

Harrah's Total Rewards® Program Would Reach Several Million New York-Area Members

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - August 24, 2009) - Aqueduct Gaming LLC announced today that Harrah's, one of the most respected names in the gaming world, has joined its team. Harrah's will be involved in the development of the multi-faceted plans to bring a world-class, neighborhood-friendly gaming and entertainment destination to Queens.

With the agreement, Harrah's Total Rewards® player loyalty program will be available to customers of the planned Aqueduct casino. Harrah's Total Rewards is the largest casino customer loyalty marketing program in the world and includes several million participants who live within 100 miles of Aqueduct.

"We're very excited to bring Harrah's brand strength to our team for this project," said William Bissett, president of Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment, a leader in the coalition of New York companies comprising Aqueduct Gaming.

Bissett said Aqueduct Gaming estimates that adding the Harrah's brand and Total Rewards program will produce an additional 10 percent in tax revenue for New York State over the previous estimate.

"We've very excited about the prospect of joining forces with Aqueduct Gaming in aligning the gaming industry's premier customer-loyalty program with this storied New York racetrack," said David Norton, Harrah's senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

"We believe our brands will complement each other in this dynamic market. This will be one of the first of several efforts to extend Total Rewards into areas beyond our traditional casinos in an effort to provide additional value for our millions of customers in areas such as New York City," Norton said.

The agreement is subject to negotiation of definitive terms, Aqueduct Gaming's receipt of a contract from the state to operate a gaming facility at Aqueduct Racetrack and the state's approval of the agreement.

Aqueduct Gaming's vision is to create an outstanding gaming and entertainment destination that achieves the right balance of world-class amenities and captures and promotes a neighborhood and community feel. Aqueduct Gaming's plans include space for fine-dining restaurants, casual dining and bars, a 2,000-space parking garage, lighting and landscaping to add to the ambience of the community and establishment of comprehensive security and safety measures to ensure a safe and secure facility for guests, employees and the surrounding community. The master plan is comprehensive and scalable and includes all of the amenities one would expect to find in a premier gaming and entertainment destination. This plan also includes a hotel, additional retail and restaurants, entertainment and other amenities based on community input.

"Our vision is to create an outstanding gaming and entertainment destination that achieves the right balance of world-class amenities and features and initiatives that capture and promote a neighborhood and community feel," Bissett said.

He noted that a recent survey by Siena College Research Institute confirmed that three out of four Queens residents have a strong desire for development that is consistent with the existing character of the community. (See for the results of the survey of Queens residents.)

"Queens residents clearly don't want overdone Las Vegas-style development that would clash with the neighborhoods around the venue," Bissett said. "We will develop and operate a casino that fits perfectly in a New York community, has world-class amenities and an internationally renowned gaming brand, Harrah's, helping it thrive.

"Aqueduct Gaming's plan is the most responsible, reliable plan for the community, the thoroughbred racing industry and the State of New York. We are New Yorkers committed to doing what's right for every resident of New York," he said.

Aqueduct Gaming LLC is a coalition of leading New York companies. Led by Buffalo-based international gaming and entertainment giant Delaware North, the team includes Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, McKissack & McKissack, Shawmut, and Thalden Emery.

For more information regarding Aqueduct Gaming's plan visit

About Harrah's Entertainment Inc.

Harrah's Entertainment Inc. is the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 70 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now operates casinos on four continents. The company's properties operate primarily under the Harrah's®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names; Harrah's also owns the World Series of Poker® and a majority interest in the London Clubs International family of casinos. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. For more information, please visit

About Delaware North Companies

Delaware North Companies is one of the world's leading hospitality and food service providers. The company is one of the largest and most admired privately held companies in the United States with revenues exceeding $2 billion annually and 50,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. It operates at world-class venues ranging from Kennedy Space Center and Yosemite National Park to London's Wembley Stadium and Boston's TD Garden, one of the top concert and sports venues in the world. The company is also the owner of several destination resorts and gaming properties. For more information, visit

About Saratoga Gaming and Raceway

Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, New York's first video gaming facility, opened in January 2004 and has generated more than $200 million in aid to education in New York State. The facility currently houses over 1,700 video lottery terminals, pari-mutuel betting facilities, live racing and extensive food and beverage and entertainment options. The company employs over 650 area residents and its operation has contributed over $150 million in annual economic benefits to the statewide economy. Saratoga Gaming and Raceway is also a partner with Delaware North Companies in the operation of the historic Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY. For more information, visit

About McKissack & McKissack

McKissack & McKissack is the oldest African-American, women-owned professional design and construction firm in the United States. The firm is a family-owned business established in 1905; however, the company's origin dates back five generations to the first descendant of the McKissack family, who came to this country in 1790 as a slave. The company has been a leader in the planning, design, and construction of more than 6,000 projects, proudly upholding the standards of excellence established by its forefathers. The company currently employs 120 employees and has contracted more than $50 billion in construction over the last decade.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:

    Glen White
    Delaware North Companies
    (716) 858-5753
    Email Contact
    Rita Cox
    Saratoga Gaming and Raceway
    (518) 581-5716
    Email Contact