Joe De Francis

Judge: No slots profit for De Francis

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

Joseph De Francis is one of the bidders for Magna’s Maryland properties. WILMINGTON, Del. — The former owner of Laurel Park lost his bid Tuesday to keep alive an agreement that would grant him a cut of the proceeds if the race track gets slots.

Now the only way Joseph De Francis, who sold Maryland’s thoroughbred race tracks to Magna Entertainment Corp. in 2002, stands to gain from gaming at Laurel is if he is the winning bidder on the track at its bankruptcy auction this month.

That auction was pushed back to Jan. 21 at the request of Magna. An attorney for the Ontario-based company said at Tuesday’s hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court that Magna wants more time to reach a preliminary agreement with one of the six qualified bidders for its Maryland properties.

Magna would then share that preliminary agreement with Maryland, to give the state the option of exercising its right of first refusal, and the other five bidders.

The auction was originally scheduled for Friday.