Cordish Sues Maryland Jockey Club, Others

Cordish Cos. has filed a defamation suit against the Maryland Jockey Club and others.

Cordish Cos. of Baltimore has sued the Maryland Jockey Club and the owners of Indiana Downs for allegedly conspiring to defame the company, which plans to build a slot machine casino at the Arundel Mills Mall in Maryland.

Cordish also developed the Indiana Live! casino on the grounds of Indiana Downs, which is located just southeast of Indianapolis.

The about 100-page, $600 million lawsuit was filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court Feb. 15. Along with the MJC and Indiana Downs, defendants are Penn National Gaming Inc. and MI Developments, partners in the MJC; and MID chairman Frank Stronach.

Cordish and the MJC have been battling for more than a year over the location of the slots parlor. Zoning for the mall site was approved--at the expense of the MJC-owned Laurel Park--in a county referendum last November, but construction has been delayed pending another appeal from a neighborhood association.

Cordish claims the MJC has been involved in illegal actions such as fraud. The MJC in a statement dismissed such allegations.

“While the case is baseless and full of unsupported speculation and innuendo, it amounts to no more than another attempt by the Cordish Cos. to restrain First Amendment freedom of speech relating to a constitutionally-protected referendum,” MJC president Tom Chuckas said Feb. 15. “As it relates to the Maryland Jockey Club, Cordish Cos. has already lost that case once, and we are confident they will lose again. As to the Cordish Cos.’ business in Indiana, we have no idea what they are talking about.”