Fewer dog dates at Lincoln

Jan 6, 2004 5:15 AM

Pressure continued on Wembley PLC, the UK business that operates the greyhound racino at Lincoln Greyhound Park in Lincoln, R.I. last week when officials limited their date request for the new season.

The state Department of Business Regulation approved 70 race dates of the 210 requested by Lincoln officials, a move that is consistent with Gov. Don Carcieri insistence that Wembley needs to sell the property in light of recent indictments of the company and two of its top executives.

Although it has yet to agree that it should give up the operation, Wembley has indicated that several different gaming companies are interested in acquiring the racino.

Wemley’s problems developed when state law enforcement officials uncovered what they claim was a plot to bribe an influential lawmaker in order to get favorable action on a request for additional video lottery machines. Facing a 2-count indictment are Dan Bucci, Lincoln general manager, and his boss, Nigel Potter, CEO of Wembley. Charges were also filed against the company.

Since then, Carcieri said he would not negotiate the installation of additional slot machines with Wembley, suggesting the English company to divest itself of further gaming interest in Rhode Island.

However, all those involved are concerned about the $127 million the slots have generated in state taxes, as well as the 820 workers employed at the dog track.