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Sportsystems Buys Out Racetrack Partner for $105 Million

20 November 2001

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia – Nov. 20, 2001 -- Sportsystems Corp., the largest pari-mutuel owner and operator in the United States, will pay $105 million to become sole owner of the Wheeling Downs Racetrack & Gaming Center.

The purchase of WHX Entertainment Corp.'s 50 percent interest in the track must be approved by the West Virginia Racing Commission and the state Lottery Commission, both of which are expected to meet within 10 days, Sportsystems spokeswoman Wendy Watkins said today.

WHX Entertainment, a subsidiary of WHX Corp., has long co-owned the track and resort with Delaware North Companies, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based international holding company that owns Sportsystems.

Watkins said the transaction will be invisible to the hundreds of thousands of people who gamble at the Wheeling Island track every year.

Last month Wheeling Downs asked the state Lottery Commission for another 674 slot machines as part of a $68 million expansion project. That would make it a close second in size to nearby Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort in Chester, which has 2,500 slot machines.

To compete with the amenity-loaded Mountaineer, Wheeling Downs plans a 151-room hotel, a showroom for large meetings, four new dining areas, an expanded retail section and a new main entrance. It currently has 1,726 slot machines.

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