05/13/2011 4:45PM

Lone Star ownership change approved

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The Texas Racing Commission on Friday approved the transfer of 100 percent ownership in Lone Star Park from MI Developments to Global Gaming. The deal is scheduled to close on Monday.

The action taken by the commission on Friday clears the way for Global Gaming to operate a second racetrack in the region. Global, a Chickasaw Nation subsidiary, owns Remington Park in Oklahoma City.

Global won the right to purchase the operating assets of Lone Star for $47 million in a bankruptcy auction in October 2009. Its request for a license transfer was scheduled to be heard at a commission meeting this past November, but Global temporarily withdrew its application.

The license that was approved Friday is made up of two entities, Global Gaming and Texas Racing Partners. The makeup of Texas Racing Partners, which will own 51 percent of the track to meet state statutes, had been changed since the original application. There were three Texas partners, but now there is just one listed, Ricky Knox.

Despite the transfer of ownership, there are not expected to be immediate changes to operations at Lone Star, which is in the midst of a Thoroughbred meet. Drew Shubeck, the track’s president and general manager, issued a statement Friday that was posted on Lone Star’s website.

“Many people will ask, ‘What will be different after the ownership change?’ and the short answer will be very little for the first few days and weeks. All employees and managers have been retained and all contracts will be honored, so we will all be rehired without termination.

“Over the months ahead everyone will start to notice projects that will benefit workers and customers of the grandstand and Post Time Pavilion [simulcast center], plus horsemen will notice building projects on the backside.” Lone Star’s meet continues through July 10. It also operates a fall season for Quarter Horses.