Courtesy of Thistledown

Report: Thistledown in Ohio on Auction Block

A published report says Thistledown will be auctioned May 28.

MI Developments intends to offer Thistledown, the Ohio racetrack near Cleveland, for sale during a May 25 auction in New York.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported May 20 that Harrah’s Entertainment, which had a deal last year to buy the track for $89.5 million, remains interested in the purchase but would rather pay less. Harrah’s entered into the agreement at a time when racetracks appeared to be in line for video lottery terminals.

Ohio tracks could still get VLTs under several scenarios. They could be authorized under legislation being prepared for regulations that will govern four full-scale casinos approved in a November referendum last year.

“It will be good to have this process completed,” Thistledown general manager Brent Reitz told the Plain Dealer. “I feel for our employees and horsemen who have been waiting for two years now to find out what will be the future of Thistledown. There has been a lot of uncertainty for them.”

The newspaper reported 12 entities have expressed interest in Thistledown.

Two Ohio tracks—Raceway Park and Scioto Downs, both harness—are owned by gaming companies. Penn National Gaming Inc., owner of Raceway Park, has a deal to buy Beulah Park near Columbus.

MID took over from bankrupt Magna Entertainment Corp. after reorganization was approved by a judge. MID opted to keep major tracks in California and Florida.