MI Developments

A savior for state’s racing industry?

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

Penn National Gaming’s new stake in the Maryland racing scene could be a saving grace for the sport that’s been on the decline in this state for the last decade — but the deal’s impact will depend on whether the company can bring slots to Laurel Park.

 “They’re a very financially stable company and they have a history in racing,” said Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chuckas. “I think the future for racing looks better than it has in a long, long time.”

After more than a year of operating in bankruptcy, Magna Entertainment Corp. transferred the jockey club (which operates Laurel and Pimlico Race Course) to Ontario-based MI Developments Inc., its parent company. On Friday, MID announced a deal in which Penn National, known in the industry as one of the pioneers of race track casinos, would acquire an interest in the jockey club.

Md. Racing Commission approves transfer of Laurel and Pimlico

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

MI Developments consultant Ed Hannah (left), CEO Dennis Mills (center) and Chief Financial Officer Rocco Liscio testify Thursday before the Maryland Racing Commission.

The Maryland Racing Commission Thursday approved the transfer of Laurel and Pimlico race tracks to MI Developments Inc., whose CEO committed to bringing the businesses to a break-even status within two years.

The approval was issued three days after a bankruptcy judge gave approval of Ontario-based Magna Entertainment Corp.’s reorganization plan that includes the transfer of five of its tracks and other assets to MID, its parent company, in exchange for the payment of debts and settlements.

CEO Dennis Mills said after the commission meeting, which was held at the Pimlico Race Course clubhouse and overlooked preparations being made for the 135th Preakness Stakes, he hoped to bring the properties to financial solvency quickly.

“Two years is the max, but we want to get [them] to break-even within months,” he said.