09/18/2012 4:18PM

Hoosier Park owner said to have won bidding for Indiana Downs

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The parent company of Hoosier Park has submitted the winning bid for bankrupt Indiana Downs and its casino in Shelbyville, Ind., the legal counsel for the company said Tuesday.

John Keeler, general counsel for New Centaur Inc., confirmed Tuesday that the company placed the bid Friday in an auction overseen by U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Keeler declined to provide details about the company’s bid, but said he was under the impression that New Centaur had submitted the only bid that met the auction’s qualifications. The minimum bid for the track and casino was $500 million, and bidders had to provide proof of financing.

“We were determined to be the winning bidder,” Keeler said.

The bid will need to be approved by the bankruptcy court.

Keeler said that New Centaur does not plan to make any major changes to the operations at the racetrack or casino if the bid is approved.

The parent of Indiana Downs and its casino, Indiana Grand, filed for bankruptcy in April 2011. The company said that it had been dragged down by unfavorable tax rates and a $250 million casino licensing fee.

Hoosier’s parent also filed for bankruptcy several years ago, citing debts of $900 million, but the company emerged from its reorganization late last year with a massive debt reduction.

Keeler said he would not comment on where New Centaur was able to obtain financing for the deal.

“I’m not at liberty to go into all the details other than to say that we were able to get financing that qualified,” Keeler said.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If Kentucky can ever manage to obtain slots, both of the Indiana facilities will most likely fail.I fear the marriage of race tracks and casinos are ultimately destroying the racing industry. How many casinos do we need? When the focus of profit turns to the casino operation its only a matter of time before the state(s) want a larger share of the pie thru taxation. Hoosier will now place itself in a bad situation by taking on so much debt. Does Indiana really need both facilities? They will now have to face competition from Ohio as well now that they have slots up and running and an existing facility(as well as 2 yet to be opened). I guess I will never understand the facination with slot machines from a players perspective. How can you walk past the most beautiful animals in the world and into a slot parlor? I guess people would rather explore a mindless pursuit rather than a form of gambling that requires a bit of work and rewards those willling to put forth the effort. Maybe if the owners of the racinos spent as much time promoting the sport that actually allows them to have those slot machines as they do trying to convert the horseplayers, their betting handle might explode.Or is it just easier to put them in front of a machine and mesmerize them with the latest technology? I for one would much rather spend a day at the "races". Horse racing fan.