A Rhode Island slot parlor has proposed an agreement in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to end greyhound racing at the facility. UTGR Inc., owner of the Twin River casino, has agreed to pay the Rhode Island Greyhound Owners Association million to end racing if its financial restructuring plan is approved by a federal judge. The greyhound owners would receive an additional million if Twin River successfully emerges from bankruptcy.
In a court filing last week, UTGR said the two entities reached a “consensual agreement” to end their contract. Patti Doyle, a spokeswoman for Twin River, said the deal, if approved, “completes a key step towards enhanced financial viability of the facility, helping to preserve key revenue for the state of Rhode Island.”
Twin River filed for bankruptcy in June, blaming its financial woes in part on the greyhound contract, which cost more than $9 million a year.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Greyhound Owners Association said the group had little choice but to accept the buyout.
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge will review the settlement on November 17, but even if he approves it, state law still requires that Twin River hold at least 125 days of greyhound racing a year. Governor Don Carcieri, who helped negotiate the bankruptcy plan, asked state lawmakers to repeal the law forcing Twin River to offer racing. In response, the General Assembly passed a law expanding the racing season to 200 days. Republican Carcieri vetoed the legislation, but Democratic legislative leaders have said they will try to override his veto.