VLT bid thrown out in Maryland

The future of racetrack company Magna Entertainment's Maryland racing operations is up in the air after a state commission tossed out the company's bid for electronic slot machines.

Magna's bid for video lottery terminals at Laurel Park was ruled ineligible because the company did not include the required application fee; another company's bid, for a location in Rocky Gap, also was thrown out for the same reason.

Magna objected and asked for an injunction Thursday in an Anne Arundel County court, according to The Baltimore Sun. The Canadian-based company asked the court to block the commission's action for at least 10 days.

After its initial license application on Feb. 2, Magna attempted to include the $28.5 million fee with certain conditions — mainly that Magna get the money back if it could not get the required zoning approvals to build.

Although the slots commission ruled out reopening the entire bidding process, applications might be accepted for the Rocky Gap location because now no valid bid exists. The license that Magna bid for is also being sought by a company that wants to build a $1 billion slots and entertainment complex at the Arundel Mills Mall.

Besides Laurel Park, Mag na also owns Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore, where the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown, is run.

In corporate filings, Magna Entertainment chairman and CEO Frank Stronach said VLTs at Laurel would "help preserve Maryland's Thoroughbred industry, including Laurel Park, Pimlico and the Preakness Stakes."