The state has suspended Wyoming Downs' operating permit, and officials said the state is investigating the finances of Wyoming's only privately operated parimutuel horse racing track.
Cloey Wall, a member of Wyoming Downs Corp.'s board, said the track's financial problems have resulted from a decline in betting.Wall said, "We just ran out of money and we couldn't hang on any longer."
Assistant Attorney General Terry Armitage said the track's permit was suspended because it had failed to pay money owed to the state.
Armitage said a hearing on the suspension had been scheduled for Sept. 30, but it has now been postponed pending the results of a investigation into the track's operation.
One of the track's bank accounts in an Evanston bank has been frozen, and Armitage said the state is investigating whether the money in that account can be used to pay creditors.
Wall said the track has not filed for bankruptcy, but that is a possibility and the owners are negotiating with their primary lender, Heartland Savings & Loan, of Tulsa, Okla.
Wall said problems the Oklahoma lender has encountered with federal regulators have compounded Wyoming Downs' problems.
She said attendance at the track has remained relatively stable this year, but the amount of money being bet by the spectators dropped significantly.
The approximately $5.5 million bet during the 1988 season that started May 28 was down by about $1 million from last year's total.
"Most of the people that attend our races come from Utah and are suffering from the economy," Wall said.