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Racing, Simulcasting Back At Rosecroft In July?

Published: May 6, 2011 3:53 pm ET

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Penn National Gaming, Inc. today announced that it has submitted an application to the Maryland Racing Commission for a license to operate Rosecroft Raceway in Oxon Hill, Maryland, which the company acquired in March.

Subject to regulatory approval, Penn National plans to resume operations at Rosecroft Raceway on July 1, 2011 with a slate of 20 days of live racing in 2011 followed by 54 days of live racing in 2012. The application to the racing commission includes the principle terms of a purse agreement between the operator and both the standardbred horsemen and the breeders.

Penn National’s application also calls for year-round simulcasting of standardbred and quarter horse races. The expansion to full simulcast operations which includes thoroughbred simulcasting and the increased staffing arising from those larger operations is contingent on the standardbred and thoroughbred industry participants reaching an agreement on terms.

In the spirit of cooperation, Penn National presented a proposal to the thoroughbred industry participants to resolve the dispute in early March, but has never received a response. The proposal included a 50-50 split of all net simulcasting revenue (subject to a cap of $2 million per year) produced at Rosecroft on any thoroughbred simulcast racing imported from out of state to Rosecroft, excluding any Penn National-owned racetracks. The recently approved House Bill 1039 provides for binding arbitration if the dispute between the parties is not resolved by October 1, 2011.

Penn National Gaming Senior Vice President Eric Schippers commented, “By restoring and ultimately expanding operations at Rosecroft, Penn National can play a major role in saving the standardbred industry and returning live harness racing to this historic track.

“Rosecroft is a community asset and we look forward to working with all area stakeholders to develop a long-term plan that will allow Rosecroft to thrive and prosper once again. There is a rich history of standardbred racing in Maryland and given our position as the largest operator of pari-mutuel facilities in the country we look forward to rebuilding Rosecroft’s role in the state’s racing industry and nationwide through simulcasting.”

(Penn National)


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