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Penn National reaffirms it wants gambling at Rosecroft

Penn National Gaming Inc. reaffirmed Tuesday that it wants to bring gambling to Rosecroft Raceway, and will work with legislators for a long-term plan in keeping the track open.

The gaming company settled Monday on its acquisition of Rosecroft, and has said it will create a plan to resume live racing this fall. The transaction also completed Cloverleaf Enterprises Inc.’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan, which called for the sale of the Prince George’s County harness race track.

“This transaction is consistent with our long-term strategy to expand and diversify the company’s pari-mutuel racing operations in key markets to include facilities that can benefit from the addition of gaming operations,” Peter M. Carlino, CEO of Penn National, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Rosecroft stakeholders to attempt to restore live racing to the facility following a nearly two-year absence.”

But Prince George’s County is not one of the five sites for slot machines listed in state law, and a change in the law would require citizens to vote on the issue.

Lawmakers have been reluctant to embrace changes to Maryland’s gaming law. The state Senate voted last year to allow Rosecroft to add a card room, but the legislation died in the House of Delegates.

A subsidiary of Penn National, Prince George’s Racing Ventures LLC, bought the track for $11 million in cash. U.S. District Judge Paul Mannes ruled Feb. 2 that Penn National had offered the best and highest offer for the race track and entered the Sale Order from the court Feb. 11.

The Maryland Jockey Club and other racing associations were the largest creditors in the case, with more than $1.7 million owed.

Landow Partners LLC, one of the losing bidders for the track, has filed a motion to reconsider the bidding process. A hearing will be held March 22 for a motion to reconsider the Feb. 2 decision.

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