02/24/2009 12:00AM

Deal for Fort Erie encounters snag

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The status of a 2009 race meet at Fort Erie took a step backward on Monday when it was announced that a deal to purchase the Ontario track by a group composed of local horsemen, the Fort Erie Economic Development and Tourism Corp., and the municipal government had fallen through, at least for the time being.

Nordic Gaming Corp., which owns and operates the track, had been considering a purchase offer that bore a deadline of 11 a.m. Monday. In a statement released that afternoon, Nordic Gaming stated that the offer contained conditions the company found "unacceptable."

A statement issued by the potential buyers Tuesday said they were willing to "continue discussions" in regard to the purchase. Sue Leslie, president of the Ontario Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Agency, believes that there is still time to resolve the issues.

Nordic Gaming has yet to commit to conducting a 2009 race meet at Fort Erie due to a serious decline in casino revenue at the facility.