Magna to Cease Great Lakes Downs Operation

Citing estimated financial losses of $1.8 million at Great Lakes Downs in 2006, Magna Entertainment announced Jan. 18 that it would not operate a meet at the Michigan racetrack beyond this year.

“Over the years, MEC has worked diligently with the Michigan horsemen, the Office of the Racing Commissioner and other State and local government officials in an attempt to improve the viability of horse racing at Great Lakes Downs and in Michigan generally,” the company said in a news release. “However, without significant changes in the regulatory environment that restricts horseracing from competing on a level playing field with other forms of gaming and entertainment, MEC has been unable to make Great Lakes Downs profitable.”

The 2007 meet at the Muskegon, Mich. racetrack is scheduled to begin May 5 and run through Nov. 6.

The news release indicated Magna Entertainment would possibly reconsider the decision if certain conditions change.

“Should the regulatory environment become more conducive to horseracing in Michigan and permit race track operations to compete on a level playing field, MEC would be prepared to reconsider this decision,” the release said. “MEC strongly believes in the future of horse racing and continues to invest in racing in jurisdictions which facilitate our ability to accept wagering through the internet, off-track betting and video wagering terminals.”

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