September 29, 2009
DALLAS - A subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation has filed a $27 million bid to buy Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. The track has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since March.
Court documents reveal the tribe is asking the court to schedule an auction for October 7. If enacted, a hearing to approve the auction's results could happen in mid-October
The Chickasaw would then need approval from the Texas Racing Commission for a racing license. Texas law requires the majority ownership of a racing license be held by Texas residents, so it is unclear how the majority ownership issue will be handled.
Some gambling insiders say the Chickasaw are more interested in gaming than horse racing. Jack Pratt of the Texas Gaming Association, a lobbying group, said "They certainly didn't buy it to race the ponies. He says the tribe is making its bid "on the basis that they'll get gaming."
The Chickasaw tribe has built its business on casinos, not horse tracks.
They own 15 gaming facilities including WinStar World Casino, the fifth-largest casino in the world, located just north of the Texas border in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
To legalize gaming, Texas legislators must first pass a gaming measure which voters would have to approve by passing a constitutional amendment. The soonest that could happen is 2011.
Return to Texas Casinos.