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Asset Auctions Set for Balmoral and Maywood Parks

Posted on in Bankruptcy Attorney Illinois
Asset Auctions Set for Balmoral and Maywood Parks

In a previous post, we discussed the bankruptcies of two of Chicago's beloved horse racing tracks, Maywood Park and Balmoral Park. Both parks experienced financial difficulties following a legal battle with riverboat casinos in the state. As part of Maywood Park's bankruptcy plan, its owners wanted to close the park earlier in the season than they normally would, but this would mean evicting the horses and riders who call the park home during the racing season. Both parks went up for sale in mid-2015 as part of their Chapter 11 bankruptcy plans.

Because neither park was purchased, they were placed in a private auction. The auction took place on December 14, 2015 at the tracks' owners' attorney's office. Everything at the tracks was up for auction: the ticket booths, an off-track betting parlor in Crestwood, fixtures within the tracks, and the tracks themselves. Bankruptcy can be a long, complex process as we have seen with the case of Balmoral and Maywood Parks. Chapter 11 is only one of the many types of bankruptcy that exists, each of which existing to relieve indebted individuals and companies in specific situations.

What Will Happen to the Parks?

Previously, the parks sought racing dates for 2016. The Illinois Racing Board denied this request and instead only granted harness racing dates to Hawthorne Race Course. Currently, a bill is in place to guarantee 30 days of racing to each of the tracks in the future.

But what, realistically, can the individuals who make their livings at these tracks expect? The future is uncertain. Many individuals in the Illinois Harness Horseman's Association actually supported the Illinois Racing Board's decision to deny Balmoral and Maywood Parks the dates they sought because they were only seeking two racing days at each park, far too few to be profitable for anybody involved in the harness racing industry. The Illinois Harness Horseman's Association is comprised of horse breeders, trainers, and riders.

The parks got into financial trouble after a long legal battle with the state's riverboat casinos. After the court found that the tracks' owner, John Johnston, attempted to contribute $100,000 to the Blagojevich campaign in exchange for Blagojevich signing legislation levying a heavy tax on the casinos after taking office, the parks' operators were required to pay $79 million to the casinos. That Johnston never actually made the contribution is irrelevant to the case's outcome.

Bankruptcy Attorneys in Arlington Heights

If you are a business owner or an individual struggling with your debt, consider filing for relief with help from an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy is not easy, but it can often be the best option. Talk through all of your options with your attorney to determine whether bankruptcy is right for you or if there is a better way for you to get out from under your debt. At The Law Offices of Newland & Newland, LLP, we can provide the guidance you need to make the right choice about handling your debt responsibly.

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