A U.S. District Court judge in Maryland Feb. 2 upheld the purchase of shuttered Rosecroft Raceway by Penn National Gaming Inc., which operates a casino in the state and owns 49% of the Maryland Jockey Club.
The purchase price is $11 million, officials said. There were other bidders for the harness track, including Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, so the purchase could be challenged in court.
PNGI when it won the bidding for Rosecroft Jan. 28 said it would pay an additional $3 million if it receives a bond from the state. Maryland lawmakers are considering several avenues to assist the horse racing industry, not the least of which is an expansion of the number of facilities with slot machines.
Rosecroft went bankrupt while under the ownership of Standardbred owners and breeders. Live harness racing hasn’t been held for a few years, and the track pulled the plug on full-card simulcasts in 2010 after a contract dispute with Maryland Thoroughbred interests.
PNGI has indicated it would offer live racing at Rosecroft later this year should it receive a loan to cover a 40-day meet at the track just south of Washington, D.C. There is no word on whether the track will be able to offer full-card Thoroughbred simulcasts or whether all Thoroughbred interests in the state will agree to hammer out a new deal.
PNGI owns 49% of the MJC, which operates Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course. It also built and owns Hollywood Casino at Perryville, one of two slots casinos operating in Maryland.