The Maryland Racing Commission approved four present off-track betting sites for 1997 licenses yesterday but decided to issue a conditional permit to Poor Jimmy's in Cecil County.
Receiving renewals unconditionally were the Cracked Claw, the Shoals, Riverboat on the Potomac and the Port Tobacco marina.
Objections were raised about Poor Jimmy's, a restaurant on Route 40 east, and the commissioners gave owner Jimmy Bomba until May 1 to make improvements at the facility.
Marty Jacobs, chief counsel for the Maryland Jockey Club, said the tracks have "negotiated with the owner for up to $50,000 that he is borrowing for repairs, and we will match that."
Poor Jimmy's is a key site because it is about 30 miles from Delaware Park and its slot machines.
The commission also voted to establish a uniform evaluation process for determining 1998 licensees.
A hearing will be held by the panel Dec. 19 at an undetermined site regarding the status of Rosecroft Raceway.
The Prince George's County harness track is wallowing in debt. Standardbred horsemen, who own the facility, are in negotiations with Bally's Inc., which manages Rosecroft and Ocean Downs, about a bailout.
The Standardbred Owners Association (shareholders) is to meet this week to consider Bally's latest offer, which was rejected by Cloverleaf Enterprises, Inc. (horsemen) more than a week ago.
Both bodies would have to approve any sale of the track or transfer of equity.
Racing schedule OK'd
The schedule for racing at Laurel Park, including the Pimlico at Laurel meeting through March 31, was approved by the panel.
Until Feb. 24, Laurel will conduct live racing Wednesday through Sunday, simulcasting-only on Mondays and dark days on Tuesdays. The only exceptions are Mondays, Jan. 20 and Feb. 17 (live), and Thursdays, Jan. 23 and Feb. 20 (simulcasting).
The schedule will remain the same through March 11 during the Pimlico at Laurel meet. After that date, Mondays and Easter Sunday (March 30) will be dark days, with simulcasting on Thursdays.
Pub Date: 12/03/96