Penn National Looks to Buy Maine, New York Harness Tracks

Penn National Gaming Inc. has entered into an agreement with Capital Seven to purchase all of the shares of Bangor Historic Track, a company that operates harness racing in Bangor, Maine. In conjunction with the purchase agreement, PNGI also secured an option to purchase the interests in Vernon Downs, a New York Standardbred track controlled by an affiliate of Capital Seven.

Capital Seven has encountered licensing obstacles in Maine and New York. Both tracks are in line gaming devices.

PNGI, in a prepared statement, said the purchases are subject to a number of conditions and contingencies, including gaming and other approvals. The purchase price for both of tracks includes up-front cash, progress and milestone payments, and a final payment subject to adjustment based on the economics of the opportunities. The closing date and total purchase price will be determined based on the outcome of the various conditions and contingencies.

In November 2003, voters in Maine approved a ballot initiative, effective in the first quarter of 2004, that authorizes the operation of slot machines at existing racetracks in the state, subject to local approval. The citizens of Bangor approved a local referendum in June.

Vernon Downs is one of eight racetracks in New York that have been authorized to install VLTs. The facility was ready to open when Mid-State Raceway, the association that operates the track, ran into licensing troubles.