Updated: 03/22/2013 12:59 PM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls
In a surprising move, the Minnesota Racing Commission acted swiftly on a request to revoke the gambling license at Running Aces harness track.
The Commission had been mulling over a request by thoroughbred race horse owners at Canterbury Park to revoke Running Aces' gambling license. The horse owners say Running Aces stopped making about $400,000 in purse contributions last August in violation of their gambling license.
Running Aces says it stopped making the payments when Canterbury and the thoroughbred owners entered into an $80 million purse and marketing deal with the owners of Mystic Lake Casino.
A divided, and often contentious Racing Commission, decided to take action Thursday night rather than drag the issue on with the live horse racing season just a couple months away. At times, debate got heated and one Commissioner offered a motion to dismiss the petition to pull Running Aces' license.
It was not on the agenda, but was offered as an amendment to the agenda and after lengthy debate a vote was taken. On a 5-4 vote, Racing Commissioners dismissed the request to revoke Running Aces' license, which allows the track to open with live racing on June 1.
Running Aces employs 600 people. Canterbury Park opens its doors to live racing May 17.