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Magna To Sell Thistledown & Portland Meadows
Magna Entertainment Corp announced it plans to sell Thistledown in Ohio & Portland Meadows in Oregon, reported thoroughbredtimes.com. Magna chairman Frank Stronach stated: "Although MEC remains strongly committed to the racing industry, the fact remains Thistledown & Portland Meadows are confronted with very difficult operational & regulatory challenges. Furthermore, MEC is very much committed to continuing to sell assets & strengthening its balance sheet. This has led to MEC's decision to immediately pursue the sale of these unprofitable tracks." Magna acquired Thistledown in Cleveland in November 1999, but has since been unsuccessful in "pursuing alternative gaming initiatives for Thistledown"; the most recent initiative was defeated on a referendum in November 2006. And Magna began operating Portland Meadows in July 2001 (it also operates 14 off-track betting locations in Oregon); but after last year "obtaining a ruling from the Oregon Racing Commission to allow installation & operation of instant racing machines at Portland Meadows", in June this year the ruling "was revoked at the request of the state's attorney general".