PNGI Won't Purchase Maryland Track

Penn National Gaming Inc. won't purchase Rosecroft Raceway after all.

Penn National Gaming Inc. said Nov. 28 it will not purchase Rosecroft Raceway, a Maryland harness track, in light of the fact the facility will not be eligible for slot machines under legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly.

PNGI, in a statement, said “pursuant to its rights under the purchase agreement” it will not to move forward with the acquisition of Rosecroft, which is located just south of Washington, D.C., and just east of Northern Virginia.

Legislation to authorize a constitutional amendment on slots in November 2008 calls for 15,000 machines at five locations, including Laurel Park between Baltimore and Washington, and Ocean Downs, a harness track on the Delmarva Peninsula. Under the proposal, Rosecroft would share in 20% of the slots revenue earmarked for the Standardbred industry, but wouldn’t have machines on its property.

Rosecroft is owned by Clover Enterprises, a subsidiary of the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners' Association. In recent years, it has cut live racing dates to conserve purse money and has lost horses to racetracks in Delaware and Pennsylvania that have alternative gaming.

PNGI said as a result of the Maryland legislation, “Rosecroft, which already has been operating at a loss, will be denied the opportunity for an alternative revenue source that would enable it to compete with other tracks in the state and racing and gaming venues in neighboring states.”

PNGI owns Charles Town Races & Slots, a West Virginia racino that draws Maryland gamblers, and Hollywood Casino at Penn National, a Pennsylvania racino scheduled to open in early February 2008. The Pennsylvania facility is the rebuilt Penn National Race Course.

In total, PNGI owns 19 facilities in fifteen jurisdictions, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ontario.