Miami Jai-Alai tries to dodge sale to NY casino co.

The Miami Jai-Alai casino and fronton sought to stop a sales agreement to a New York-based gambling operator in bankruptcy court Wednesday.

Miami Jai-Alai lawyer Luis Salazar argued that the sale price of $115 million would fall short of what the Miami casino owes lenders, but the intended buyer, Silver Entertainment Gaming and Hospitality, said it was ready to close on the deal.

“It is a contract we worked long and hard for,” Silver lawyer Thomas Kreller, of the Milbank firm’s Los Angeles office, told the Miami Herald.

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Miami Jai-Alai lawyers say they’re pursuing a reorganization since the casino is profitable and could afford to continue making debt payments, the Herald reported.

While Miami Jai-Alai initially agreed to Silver’s $115 million offer, a subsequent appraisal put the value at $180 million.

Including an $8 million penalty for rival Hialeah Park opening a casino, Miami Jai-Alai owes lender ABC Funding $122 million, according to Florida Gaming securities filings. [Miami Herald]Emily Schmall