Court Affirms Minnesota Racing Decision
Southwest Casino Corporation announced that on June 6, 2006 the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by the Ramsey County District Court granting summary judgment in favor of the Minnesota Racing Commission and North Metro Harness Initiative, LLC. The Court of Appeals upheld the District Court's decision to dismiss claims that the Racing Commission violated Minnesota's Open Meeting law when deciding to grant licenses to North Metro to develop and operate a harness racetrack and card room in Columbus Township, Anoka County, Minnesota. Southwest Casino Corporation owns a 50% membership interest in North Metro. MTR-Harness, Inc., a subsidiary of MTR Gaming Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:MNTG) also owns a 50% membership interest. The Appellate Court's decision may be appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The Minnesota Racing Commission voted to grant the licenses to North Metro in January of 2005, but an anti-gambling citizens group opposed to the development filed two lawsuits against the Commission in attempts to overturn the licenses and block the project. Today's Court of Appeals decision could be appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which would then have discretion to decide whether to hear the case. The Minnesota Supreme Court has not yet ruled on a request for review of a previous Court of Appeals decision upholding the Racing Commission's decision to grant racing licenses to North Metro.
Regarding yesterday's Court of Appeals decision, Jim Druck, CEO of Southwest Casino Corporation said, "We are once again delighted. The Court of Appeals has again confirmed what we always believed, that the Minnesota Commission acted properly when it decided to grant racing licenses to North Metro and that those licenses are valid and appropriate. While the litigation process continues, we are pleased to be another step closer to starting construction."