Slots hopes look dim for Magna
Even if Magna Entertainment Corp., the owner of Laurel Park and Pimlico, wins its argument that Maryland's bidding process for slots is unconstitutional, it still might have a hard time getting a serious shot at one of the state's gambling licenses. Gadi Dechter reports this morning that Magna blamed its failure to submit a $28.5 million licensing fees to "market conditions" in its application for a license. The objection Magna is raising now in court -- that the bidding process is uncontstitutional because it the law doesn't include a specific provision saying the fee would be refundable -- isn't mentioned anywhere in the application. And moreover, the state argued yesterday that Magna lobbied for the very language it's now calling defective.
So even if Magna gets a do-over on the bids, it would still have to convince the slots commission that it's the best company to build and run what would, potentially, be the most lucrative gambling parlor in the state. At that point, it would still have to live down an admission that, essentially, it had trouble ponying up (so to speak) the licensing fee. Considering that the company would have to find way more money than that to make a slots operation a go, Magna might not accomplish anything through its lawsuit other than delaying the cash-rich Cordish Cos. from breaking ground at Arundel Mills.