Jay-Z’s Role in NY Casino Deal Spawns Federal Investigation

Jay-Z’s political ties are apparently stirring up a bit of controversy.

The New York Post reports that the rap mogul’s involvement with the Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG)—the consortium chosen to run a multi-billion dollar “racino” (a combined racetrack and casino) at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens—has ignited a federal investigation.

Apparently, authorities are skeptical about the selection of AEG to operate the new venture and what role Jay played in swaying New York Governor David Patterson’s decision.

Hov had been trying to get involved with the racino since last year. A source told the Post that the hip-hop star eventually linked up with casino mogul Steve Wynn, who at the time was bidding for control. The source went on to claim that when Wynn’s deal went sour, AEG scooped up Jay to appeal to the governor.

“[Gov.] Paterson directly told Wynn he needed to have a minority partner, so he went and got Jay-Z,” the source said. “But when Wynn pulled out, Jay-Z was without a home.”

When contacted AEG denied that it courted the hip-hop honcho to win the governor’s favor.

“Given [Jay-Z's] superstardom and his long and deep connection to New York, the partners thought he could bring a unique perspective to shaping a facility that would truly be an entertainment destination,” AEG spokesman Jonathan Rosen told the Post. “The partners were looking to bring in someone who could bring marketing and community advice to the team.”

A rep for Paterson also refuted the claims. “There is absolutely no relationship between Governor Paterson’s friendship with Jay-Z and the choice of AEG.”

Paterson is known for having a relationship with the 40-year-old rapper—who has a seven percent stake in AEG. The Governor was personally invited as Jay’s guest during his 9-11 benefit concert at Madison Square Garden last year, has been spotted dining with the rap star and has spoken to several publications about Hov’s importance to the city of New York.

As of press time Jay has yet to comment on the reports. —Elan Mancini

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  • http://www.bboycult.com Don McCaine

    Great editing of the story…you left out the part about how there was another investor who was turned down because of his criminal record, yet Jay has convictions on his record too and was chosen…Aqueduct is known for Mob activity since the 70′s…tell the whole story people, not what you want the fans to know…

    • Federal Ranga

      What’s up, $yk?
      Shoot me an e-mail later. I need to holla at you.

      You know XXL tryna keep a safe distance from this shit. They never give us the whole story when it comes to REALLY important shit.

      To all the Jigga stans… if this is ya’ll idea of him being “bigger than hip hop”, ya’ll may need to re-evaluate things.


      • yoprince

        what are you implying? should this be some type of disappointment to jay-z fans?

        more like highly typical state government corruption… the kind with only circumstantial evidence to back it up (thus, making it worth it).

        basically, the bidding on government contracts is always supposed to be “fair” and “open,” but in deals that exceed the hundreds of millions of dollars, that rarely is the case.

        as Balzac put it, “Behind every great fortune is a crime.”

        here you just have a group of individuals making the necessary moves and putting themselves in position to make a considerable profit. gov. paterson is taking the highest risk b/c his stake in the venture would have to involve a kickback at some point, or at worst a direct bribe, and he’s an elected government official. everyone else is a businessman doing what businessmen do.

        anyway, unless they can come up with evidence of a direct bribe beyond “here, now your friend is involved,” there is no case.

        • http://www.bboycult.com $yk!

          “Aqueduct Entertainment Group partners include GreenStar Services Corporation, Turner Construction Company, Levine Builders, The Darman Group, Empowerment Development Corporation, Navegante Group, PS&S Design, Siemens AG and Clairvest Group.”

          ^ Look at the businesses, go back to my comment. NY’ers know what I’m talking about.

          “Jay-Z seems an odd fit with the group, considering that he brags in his music about having dealt drugs in his youth — not to mention that he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to three years’ probation for stabbing a record executive in a 1999 nightclub melee. One member of the AEG consortium, Darryl Greene, has already been forced to drop out over his criminal past. He’d fleeced city agencies out of $500,000.”

          If I’m correct you can’t have any convictions and be in the gambling/gaming business, from the owner to the card dealers to the rug sweepers.

  • King Don G Unit

    Everytime a brother tries to better himself the long arm of the law gets in thur. PS:
    Jay Z be making this nicca blush and get firm

    • 513 King

      You gay as hell for that comment.

      • http://xxlmag.com INTERNET BULLY


      • King Don G Unit

        Why am I gay???!!! He be making me blush and firm stroking my rocket ship missle

  • Joe Morgan jr.

    Only 7 percent ? were is Dame when you need him? If the only way the Governor is going to allow a “Racino” is thru Jay you would think 7 isn’t enough. Do you remember Dame’s constant reference to always being offered and turning down ” a ni99er deal” When it came to deals with ROC and the industry. Don McCaine, Is there anywhere I can catch a “fuller” version of this story ? Or is that insider local info that hasn’t made it’s way to the press yet.

    • http://www.bboycult.com Don McCaine

      The NY Post. I read it online yesterday…

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  • Phillmatic

    Bol’s gonna have a fucking field day with this one.

  • The real chris

    Wow.jay -z multimillion air going thru investigation?so what his lawyers will work it out for him.

  • http://myspace.com/kidpistol Kid Pistol

    Jay-z is so dope.

  • Anonymous

    These NUTS

  • caino

    Like $yk says above me, it aint just the government out to get Jay-Z, everyone knows you cant have a criminal record and be involved in gambling!! it just doesnt work, thats why you get someone to get the licence and you control the place through them!

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  • http://www.myspace.com/jaefatal Jae Fatal

    This shit is gonna quiet down soon enough. Just like that J Hotels thing.

  • realtalk

    sooner or later this dude is gonna play the race card . you watch i put everything on that trust me.

  • Slice!

    I’ve been reading about this and all the scrutiny around the decision to chose AEG and Jay-Z’s involvement. I better understood the hiccups in the process when I read an article on MultipleEargasm.com.

    I think Jay-Z would be a great addition to any team who was selected for this project, but I wonder if AEG was the best choice or the influential/political choice. If Jay-Z would have stayed with Steve Wynn’s group, would the gov. have picked them???

  • furahiday

    damn dis some funny shit, xxl full story pls

  • http://etymologisesmanon.blogspot.com Esperanza Werner

    If only I had a quarter for each time I came here… Superb read.