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Langley Bingo Aims to Offer More Slot Machines

A 2nd proposed casino facility in the Langley regional town center would give the four kilometer area surrounding it the biggest population of slot machines in B.C. The slots proposal was debated in a township hearing last night with the backing from some non-profitable organizations that received finances from gaming profits.

Barbara Scott of Big Brothers Big Sisters said that they hugely rely on the $145,000 that they received for their charitable work. Playtime Community Gaming wants to put 150 slot machines at an existing facility called Langley Bingo at 19664 64th Avenue.

The renovation of the facility would cost $2 million. There are already 600 slot machines at the Cascade Casino in Langley City and 397 at Fraser Down horse racing track in Surrey. Langley Bingo's slot machines would bring the total to 1,147 slot machines. Township Mayor Kurt Alberts commented that one of the biggest concerns of their community is the viability of the non-profitable organizations financial viability. He added that the council is now preparing to study the gaming proposal after being wary of allowing more gaming in the area.

The township stands to receive $1 million in yearly profits. Criticism to the project has not been that much compared with a similar proposal in Abbotsford which was approved despite large-scale criticism. Langley Meadows resident Al Peterson commented that there are a lot of people that just live a few miles away from the proposed site.

The provincial report, named Impacts of New Gaming stated that about 54% of those surveyed believed that expanded gaming will add more problems. Brian Doyle of the Community Development Division said that a lot of communities in the area feel that way. Langley RCMP Superintendent Janice Armstrong said that police expenses should not be forgotten. The council, which must give its approval, is expected to decide on November 26th, 2007.

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Laurel Park Continues to Lose Revenue Because of Competition in Neighboring States

On April 21st, 2008, Laurel Park continued to lose some profits, according to the documents filed before the state racing commission, as questions remain about the viability of the Laurel Park as a slots facility. The racing track's financial problems show the ongoing battle on a November referendum to approve slot machine gaming in the state.

A part of the slots profits will be used to help the racing industry of the state, which has really struggled against competitors from the states of Delaware, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The net loss of Laurel Park grow to $4.3 million in the past year that ended December 31st, 2008 up from the $3.6 million the park incurred in 2006, according to the documents recently given to the Maryland Racing Commission.

The documents were given by Magna Entertainment Corporation, which is the parent company of Laurel Park and the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The Pimlico Race Course reported a 35% increase in revenue in the last year to $1.8 million compared with the $1.36 million in 2006. The income of Pimlico is coming from the Preakness Stakes, which is the middle leg of the Triple Crown race. The event drew around 121,263 visitors and a total betting amount of $87 million, which is considered to be 4th biggest for a Preakness Day.

This year's Preakness Day is on May 17th, 2008. The president and General Manager of the Jockey Club, Chris Dragone commented that they are working hard to attract new fans to Laurel by placing more horses on the racing track and improving the overall condition of the racing track.

The managing partner at Louisiana investment firm Rice Voelker LLC, Tim Rice commented that right now, Laurel Park is in a great disadvantage, being surrounded by states that allow gaming in their racing tracks. The financial problems of Maryland racing tracks are contributing to the growing concerns about the capability of Magna to continue on the business. The company lost around $114 million in 2007 and $87.4 million in 2006.