07/04/2001 11:00PM

Casino buys into Evangeline

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Peninsula Gaming Partners, which owns a riverboat casino in Dubuque, Iowa, has an agreement to purchase 50 percent of Evangeline Downs in Lafayette, La., the group announced Thursday.

The sale is conditioned upon obtaining financing and regulatory approval from the Louisiana Racing Commission and the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. William Trotter, a businessman in Lafayette, will retain 50 percent interest in Evangeline.

Evangeline Downs hopes to install slot machines, but by law it must move its operation to a parish that allows that kind of gaming, so a new track and casino is to be built in St. Landry Parish, 15 minutes from its existing site.

Peninsula Gaming will manage the existing Evangeline Downs, and will design, construct and manage the new facility, to be located in Opelousas, La.