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NYC’s Aqueduct convention center plan progresses

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – A multinational development and casino company has signed a letter of intent to build the nation’s largest convention center at Aqueduct racetrack in New York City.

The nonbinding letter, signed by the Genting Group a day before Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH’-moh) announced the proposal in his State of the State address last week, followed months of negotiations. The letter notes plans to expand casino gambling at Genting’s current video slot machine operation at Aqueduct.

Legislative and community leaders and any potential competing companies weren’t included. The Cuomo administration said Monday that competitive bidding wasn’t required.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says lawmakers are expected to be briefed soon.

Malaysia-based Genting spent more than $774,000 on New York lobbying in the first 10 months of 2011, or 10 times its total for 2010.

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