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Bidders Contending For Maryland Track

4 December 2003

MARYLAND – As reported by the Washington Post: "The son of Baltimore Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos and Prince George's County businessman Carl D. Jones are among 10 groups of investors who have filed separate bids to buy Rosecroft Raceway in Oxon Hill, lured by the racetrack's potential to become an East Coast magnet for slot-machine gamblers.

"The pending sale of the harness-racing track in Oxon Hill has also drawn heavy interest from casino companies, including Las Vegas-based Harrah's Entertainment Corp. and Penn National Gaming Inc. of Wyomissing, Pa., the owner of a hugely profitable racetrack and slots operation in Charles Town, W.Va., according to sources familiar with the bids.

"Other bidders include Magna Entertainment Corp., a Canadian racing firm that has tried to acquire Rosecroft before and already owns Maryland's two thoroughbred racetracks. Adding Rosecroft would give Magna a virtual monopoly on the state racing industry and put it in a position to become the dominant player in the slots business as well.

"…The Maryland General Assembly reconvenes next month for its 90-day annual legislative session, and topping its agenda is whether lawmakers will legalize slots at racetracks and other sites. Rosecroft is considered a particularly promising site for casino-style gambling because it is located just off the Capital Beltway and is less than a 10-minute drive from Northern Virginia and the District.

"…Rosecroft's owners have asked bidders to describe their legislative strategy for persuading Maryland lawmakers to approve slots. They also have made clear that they prefer to sell to a group that includes African Americans, in a nod to some top lawmakers who have insisted that black investors be guaranteed at least partial ownership of any slot-machine licenses…"

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