Casino at Ocean Downs, a harness track on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, is in the process of being purchased by Churchill Downs Inc. and Saratoga Casino Holdings from Delaware Park owner William Rickman.
The Maryland horse industry made its case March 15 for legislation that would shift gaming revenue from capital improvements to racetrack operations.
A commission overseeing development of video lottery terminal parlors in Maryland said Jan. 11 the state should examine ways to attract more interest in available gaming licenses and study similar operations in other states.
Magna Entertainment Corp. said Feb. 4 it has arranged to pay a $28.5-million licensing fee for slot machines -- but the money will be placed in an escrow account at a Maryland bank.
In a jaw-dropping revision, Maryland received requests for far fewer slot machines in five license proposals than previously thought, and two of the six bidders -- including Laurel Park owner Magna Entertainment Corp. -- failed to pay $22.5 million in required up-front fees, a state official said Feb. 3.
Maryland voters approved legalizing slot machines Tuesday in a constitutional amendment, paving the way for up to 15,000 machines in five locations and ending years of debate between lawmakers who never managed to pass the measure on their own.
The Maryland Jockey Club said it is "aggressively supporting" a campaign to win approval via a Nov. 4 statewide referendum for slot machines at five locations in the state.
The Maryland House of Delegates passed a measure Nov. 16 to authorize a November 2008 referendum on slot machines in the state.
The Maryland House of Delegates put off voting on whether the state should have a referendum on slot-machine gambling after a day of changes in the proposal Nov. 15. The issue is on the agenda when the House reconvenes Nov. 16.
A November 2008 referendum on allowing slot machines in the state was approved by the Maryland Senate the evening of Nov. 8.
The legislative race for slot machines in Maryland hit fever pitch Nov. 2 with rallies in the state capital.
- By Tom Keyser
The Maryland Racing Commission on Thursday abruptly cut off testimony concerning construction of a racetrack in the western part of the state so opposing sides could work on an agreement to expedite the tedious process. William Rickman Jr., who wants to build the track in remote Allegany County, offered to write a letter of credit to guarantee its financial viability and stability. Rickman, who owns and Delaware Park and Ocean Downs, a Maryland harness track, is the only applicant for the license to construct the track.
The Maryland Jockey Club has loaned $5.1 million to the owner of Rosecroft Raceway to buy Ocean Downs.
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