12/18/2001 12:00AM

Delta has license reinstated


Delta Downs in Vinton, La., had its gaming license reinstated last Friday after the track's new owner, Boyd Gaming, paid former owner Shawn Scott an additional $5.1 million to eliminate future payments due him that could have been interpreted to be based on the performance of the track's yet-to-be-opened slots casino.

Last month, Judge Duke Welch of Baton Rouge, La., suspended Delta's gaming license on the grounds that Scott still had an economic interest in the track because he would be receiving payments after the casino opened, and ruled that Scott would have to undergo a background investigation. Last Friday, Welch lifted the injunction against the license, which was sought by Isle of Capri Casinos, which operates a riverboat casino near Delta.

Boyd, which operates 11 casino properties, including the Stardust in Las Vegas and the Treasure Chest in Kenner, La., purchased Delta from Scott for $125 million and other considerations in May. The $5.1 million transaction brings the total purchase price for Delta, for which Scott paid $10 million in 1999, to $130.1 million, according to a spokesman for Boyd.

"The court ruling means that we can move forward with the opening of our casino," said Rob Stillwell, a Boyd spokesman. "Right now, as was the case prior to the injunction, we are working with the state on the slot configuration."

Boyd hopes to open its slots casino in January, when it will be conducting a mixed-breed meet, but first needs final approval of its casino layout from the board. The track is currently racing Thoroughbreds through Dec. 30.