Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Debartolos Granted Modified Track License / Track Radius Proposal Rejected, Handle Rule Approved

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Debartolos Granted Modified Track License / Track Radius Proposal Rejected, Handle Rule Approved

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission granted the Edward J. DeBartolo group on Wednesday a modified conditional organizationa l license for construction of Remington Park race track in northeast Oklahoma, approving 14 of the 15 conditions presented to the commission by DeBartolo representatives.

The single condition turned down by the commission, by a vote of 6-0, was one of two rules which the DeBartolos wanted the racing commission, and ultimately the Oklahoma Legislature, to approve - that no other race track should be established within a 100-mile radius of a major track nor within 75 miles of an intermediate track.

The other rule, passed by a vote of five to one, provides that a combined handle of $230 million from both Remington Park and Blue Ribbon Downs for any two years must be reached before the commission licenses another track - a rebuttable proposal which was passed with some stipulations by the commission.

David Vance, who would serve as general manager of Remington Park, said he was glad that the majority of the conditions were accepted by the commission, but was "very disappointed" the radius rule was rejected.

"We got 14 out of the 15 conditions," he said, "but we're very disappointed, though, we did not get the radius rule. Combined with the handle rule, it would have given us the kind of protection we needed."

The commission's rejection of the radius rule has presented a complicated problem which could ultimately mean voidance of the organizational license.

The last clause of item 14 in the conditional acceptance addressed the $4 million performance bond which the DeBartolos have said they will put up to show good faith that they will construct the tract.

One of the stipulations, however, was that both the radius rule and the $230 million handle rule would have to be "adopted and approved by both houses of the (Oklahoma) Legislature during the current session or upon commencement of construction by the applicant", or the bond would be cancelled.

Because the radius rule was rejected, the DeBartolo representatives and the commission came to an agreement of what will happen with the performance bond pending action of the Legislature.

Alden Chevelin, attorney for the DeBartolo Corp., told The Journal Record that if the DeBartolos accept the conditional license, they will still put up the $4 million performance bond on the condition the handle rule is approved by the Legislature.

The motion drafted and approved by the commission which addresses the issue is as follows:

- If the handle rule is rejected by the Legislature during this session, it is the DeBartolo's option to withdraw the performance bond, at which time the organizational license becomes null andvoid. …

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