On Tuesday, March 15, Maryland State Delegate Frank S. Turner criticized Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course's owner, the Maryland Jockey Club, during a House committee meeting. His criticism was in regard to the organization asking for government money for day-to-day operations while without having a long-term plan to reverse its recent negative economic fortunes
"If I had a business losing $14 million and I came to the legislature [for help] but [didn't] have a long-term plan, I have a little problem with that," he was quoted as saying in an article by The Baltimore Sun.
The report explains that the Maryland Jockey Club recently filed unaudited financial statements for 2008 and 2009 which indicated that the organization lost $26 million during that span. The Maryland Jockey Club had not filed the statements due to the fact that it was going through bankruptcy proceedings with the tracks' then-owner, Magna Entertainment Corp.
In terms of the unfiled financial report for the Maryland Jockey Club for last year, Turner was quoted as saying, "we don't know anything about 2010, and we're trying to make a decision."
The office of Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has proposed legislation which would see $3.6 million in slots proceeds funnelled to the two racetracks in order to offset operating costs. Breeders and horsepeople in the state would also contribute $1.7 million to the cause.
The bill would guarantee 146 dates of live racing at the tracks in 2011
(With files from The Baltimore Sun)