Casino operator Florida Gaming could go out of business before it closes a deal to sell its money-losing jai-alai frontons, the courts where the fast-paced ball game is played, the South Florida Business Journal reported.
Florida Gaming, which reported a 2012 operating loss of $23.2 million, intends to sell its Miami and Fort Pierce jai-alai frontons to Silvermark, an affiliate of New York-based Silver Entertainment, for $115 million, plus the assumption of $15 million in mortgage payments owed to Miami-Dade County.
Shareholders approved the deal, but Florida Gaming may still need court approval in Miami-Dade County, where ABC Funding filed an $87 million foreclosure lawsuit against the frontons because of alleged unpaid construction costs.
The deal was expected to close April 30, but Florida Gaming’s accountant expressed in a recent annual report “substantial doubt” over the company’s ability to continue as a “going concern.” Despite rising income from slot machines and poker tables, the company has been unable to revive interest in jai-alai, a game that was once one of the region’s primary draws. [South Florida Business Journal] —Emily Schmall