08/15/2005 11:00PM

Rockingham slots plan in works


Rockingham Park has combined efforts with several casino companies to develop a plan to renovate the racetrack and bring back Thoroughbred racing as long as the state legislature allows the track to operate slot machines, track officials announced Tuesday.

The project is contingent on the ability of the track to subsidize racing with slot-machine revenue, according to Ed Callahan, the general manager of Rockingham. The New Hampshire track dropped its Thoroughbred race meet as of 2003, and now runs a summer harness meet and year-round simulcasting on Thoroughbred, Standardbred, and greyhound races.

New Hampshire's legislature does not return to session until January 2006. Callahan said he and the casino companies planned to release details of how the renovation would look within the next several months, based on the partnership's expectations for slot-machine revenues.

"It would depend on the tax structure, number of machines, how the legislature structured the bill, things like that," Callahan said.

Rockingham's partners in the project are Millennium Gaming Inc. and Cannery Casino Resorts, the owner and operator of the Cannery Casino Hotel and the Rampart Casino, both in Las Vegas. Millennium is the majority owner of Cannery Casino.