Shutdown effect: No horse racing

Posted at 10:57 AM on June 24, 2011 by Paul Tosto (0 Comments)
Filed under: Courts

MPR News reporter Catharine Richert has been digging through court filings on the shutdown and came across an unexpected consequence of a possible shutdown. The horses might not run at Canterbury.

Richert writes:

It's a concern the Minnesota Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents horse owners and racers, voiced in paperwork filed with the Ramsey County Court.


The Minnesota Racing Commission has not been listed as an essential service in Gov. Mark Dayton's petition, even though the commission is self-sustaining.

If commission members are laid-off, MHBPA worries that the commission won't be able to perform its regulatory functions. And that means no horse racing.

In its court document, the MHBPA writes that its members have already paid to race at Canterbury.

"By accepting this money, the state has entered into an implied contract which they would now be violating," the document states. "Many people, in reliance on this contract, moved their operations to Minnesota for the race season and they will be serious damaged."

Canterbury recently told investors that the shutdown might force it to suspend or close its operations.

"If we were forced to suspend all horse racing, simulcasting and Card Casino operations, the result would be a significant, adverse impact on the company," chief executive Randy Sampson wrote.

"We would lose gaming and concession revenues in excess of $1 million per week but would continue to incur substantial operating expenses, including expenses to support our backside horse population.

Without any revenues coming in, we would be forced to lay off substantially all of our 1,000 full time and part time employees causing hardship for them and their families. The shutdown would have a particularly severe impact on Canterbury over the Fourth of July weekend, which is typically the busiest weekend of the year."

Take a look through the briefs filed with court by groups that could be hurt by a potential shutdown. See anything interesting, drop us a line.

Photo credit: Flickr user FranklinPhotos

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