Preliminary OK Given for Remington License

The sale of Remington Park to the Chickasaw Nation has moved a step closer.

The Chickasaw Nation won preliminary approval Nov. 19 for a 2010 racing and gaming license at Remington Park, which expects to purchase the Oklahoma racetrack from Magna Entertainment Corp. for $80 million.

The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission voted 8-0 to have the formal approval documents developed for Global Gaming RP’s license. The company is a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation.

Final approval is expected in December.

John Elliott, chief executive officer of Global Gaming Solutions, said all that remains should be procedural issues. He said he hopes the sale will be finalized so Remington will transfer ownership at midnight Dec. 31.

Remington, which cost $94 million to build, opened in 1988. MEC bought it from the Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. for $10 million in 1999 and spent $35 million on renovations after November 2004, when voters approved a ballot measure allowing slot machines at the track.

Thoroughbred trainer Donnie Von Hemel said Oklahoma horsemen are enthusiastic about having in-state ownership. The Chickasaw Nation is based in Ada, about 80 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.

“This is their first venture into racing, but their gaming history is very good,” Von Hemel said. “I think we’re all looking forward to it.”