On May 9th, 2008, horse racing track owners upped the stakes on what should be done to save the horse racing industry of Maryland-and most of them say that it will need more than just slot machines. Magna Entertainment Corporation, the organization that owns the Laurel and Pimlico racing tracks, is looking to make partnerships with gambling interests, hotels and restaurants.
Officials of the company said that they are not ignoring offers to buy either racing tracks. Officials of the company said that they are in favor of the slots referendum, but a lot of people from the horse racing industry are disappointed that they have not done anything to prove those word.
Scott Borgemenke, the executive vice president of racing at Magna commented that they have not met yet with the people in charge of the slots campaign so they do not have any ideas on what support they can give because they are not personally running the campaign. Jim Steel of the Maryland Horse Breeders commented that Magna is facing some issues that makes it hard for the company to participate fully in the campaign.
A brand new audit of both the Laurel and Pimlico racing tracks found out that Laurel is losing a lot of money while the Preakness Horseracing event has become the main lifeline of the Maryland horse racing industry. State voters will decide in November whether to give permission to 15,000 slot machines to be place in five locations in the state-Baltimore, Ocean City, Western Maryland, Cecil and Anne Arundel counties.
It is widely expected that if Magna Entertainment successfully bids for a slots license, Laurel Park will receive slot machines. But Magna commented that the slot machines would not be enough to fix the problem. Borgemenke said that aside from the slot machines, the racing tracks needed to feature restaurants, hotels and other things that visitors to the racing tracks will need so that people will have a really good experience while visiting the racing tracks.
Company officials said that they are currently looking for partners in the gambling, hotel and restaurant industry because they are so much mired in debt that they are in danger of being removed from the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. Borgemenke commented that they are also considering selling some of their properties. Magna Entertainment said that the fate of Preakness Horse Race is not tied to the slots passage so fans can be rest assured that the race will continue.