10/10/2012 10:18AM

Churchill Downs-Delaware North Cos. partnership to receive tax breaks for building Ohio casino

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An Ohio County on Tuesday approved a plan that will allow a partnership that includes Churchill Downs Inc. to receive tax breaks for building a casino on state-owned land.

The Warren County Commission approved the tax breaks for Miami Valley Gaming, a partnership of Churchill Downs and Delaware North Cos. that plans to move Lebanon Raceway in Lebanon to a more accessible site just off Interstate 75, approximately midway between Cincinnati and Dayton. Miami Valley is purchasing the site for the new racetrack/casino from the state for $5 million in a transaction that is still pending.

The tax breaks will require the state to use 75 percent of the partnership’s property taxes on improvements to infrastructure surrounding the site for 10 years. Miami Valley has said that it plans to spend $175 million on the casino and an attached harness track. Construction on the facility could start as early as December.

Through referendum and government fiat, Ohio has approved a total of 11 casinos over the past four years. Four of the casinos are stand-alone facilities, while seven of the casinos will be located at racetracks. Several of the racetrack owners are seeking to relocate the facilities to markets where there will be less competition for casinos.