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Centaur seeks to auction Valley View license
Thursday, August 12, 2010 - by John Pawlak, the U.S. Trotting Association

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Columbus, OH --- Centaur, Inc., which holds the license to build Valley View Downs in Pennsylvania, has said it wants to auction the license to build the $455 million racino -- but there may not be enough time to sell it.

Centaur, which operates Hoosier Park and is currently in bankruptcy in an effort to restructure its debt, would need permission to sell from the court overseeing the bankruptcy, and from the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission, which would have to okay the extension of the license before it expires on Sept. 6.

Should the Sept. 6 deadline come and go it would plunge the license -- the last to be granted under Pennsylvania law -- into a grey area. Reportedly, it is not known what would happen if the license expired; there is no legal opinion as to whether the license could be granted to another entity or whether it would simply expire without the ability to resurrect it.

More than two years ago, Centaur won the racing license from the racing commission, but since then has been unable to put together a financing package -- which has meant the state’s gaming commission would not grant a gaming license. In turn, in a “Catch-22,” Centaur was unable to raise financing without having first been granted a gaming license.

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