Federal investigators are trying to convince the casino operators who were snubbed by Gov. Paterson in favor of a politically-connected bidder to cooperate in a probe of the Aqueduct Racetrack deal. "The [Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office] said, 'We're contemplating a further inquiry into the racino bid process: If we go ahead with that, would you guys be willing to cooperate with us?'" a bidder, whose company's slot machine plan was rejected, told the Daily News. "We said that it wasn't much of a process, but, yes, if you ask us to, of course we'd cooperate."
Paterson has been criticized for choosing the Aqueduct Entertainment Group, purportedly in an attempt to win the political support of minor shareholder Rev. Floyd Flake. The Governor denies those allegations and insists that the federal investigation is not related to the "racino" deal. Documents released to the public reveal that AEG initially stated it would produce the least revenue of any of the six candidates, then five days later revised its bid to say it would make the most money. James Featherstonhaugh, an investor in losing bidder Delaware North, told the tabloid: "I'm not a great believer of coincidence and the timing of that strikes me as pretty transparent."