MEC Eyes Options After Oregon Rejection

MEC Eyes Options After Oregon Rejection
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Magna Entertainment Corp. said it is "considering all of its legal options" after the Oregon Racing Commission rejected its request to allow installation of Instant Racing gaming terminals at Portland Meadows April 25.

The ORC decision came after Magna had successfully challenged the agency's 2007 rejection of Instant Racing in an appeal before the state's Office of Administrative Hearings. That order was issued by the OAH Feb. 27.

"Over the past several years, MEC has worked conscientiously and in good faith with the ORC in an attempt to improve the long-term viability of horse racing at Portland Meadows, including through the introduction of Instant Racing," Magna Entertainment said in a press release issued following the Oregon commission's decision. "MEC is very disappointed with the actions of both the Oregon Attorney General and the ORC, and is considering all of its legal options with respect to this matter."

According to the release, the Oregon AG's office issued an opinion last year that caused the ORC to reverse itself on Instant Racing in September. The ORC had initially authorized the machines after gathering public testimony in 2003, the release said.

As a result of that original decision, MEC said it had "invested substantial capital at Portland Meadows to improve the facility and purchase Instant Racing terminals."

In Instant Racing, patrons, through a terminal, may wager on previously run races. MEC contends that Instant Racing is a form of legal pari-mutuel wagering and is not a slot machine.

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