R.I. track sale OK’d

Jul 19, 2005 4:54 AM

The purchasers of Lincoln Greyhound Park in Rhode Island wanted that state’s lawmakers to pass a bill that would have paired the track’s tax percentage with the one being proposed for a casino planned by the partnership of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET) and the Narragansett Indians.

Their efforts failed.

On Friday, the legislature approved the purchase of the track by BLB Investors including the installation of an additional 1,750 video lottery terminals at that property but excluded the tax proposal suggested by the buyers. As it stands, the dog track, identified as the largest moneymaker for its owners, British-based Wembley plc., will continue to pay the state 60% of its gaming revenues while the casino, should it find a place on next year’s November ballot and be supported by the voters, will be taxed at somewhere between 25% and 30%.

The BLB Investors is a consortium including Kerzner International Ltd (KZR), Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT) and Waterford Investments.

According to London’s Financial Times, Wembley shareholders reportedly approved the sale of the track at a meeting on Monday. The shareholders were told by management at the meeting that they should receive between 870 pence to 910 pence per share from the sale proceeds.