05/15/2007 11:00PM

MTR Gaming's income drops


MTR Gaming Group Inc., the owner of Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort and developer of a new Thoroughbred racetrack and casino in Pennsylvania, had net income of $600,000 in the first quarter of 2007, down sharply from the $3.4 million the company earned in the first quarter last year, according to financial statements released late Tuesday.

In a release accompanying the statements, MTR said that higher interest expense on its debt along with lower revenue from Mountaineer accounted for the decline in net income. The company has financed the construction of Presque Isle Downs near Erie, Pa., with debt. Presque Isle opened its casino in February, and its first race meet is scheduled for this September.

Total revenue in the quarter was up 15.2 percent, from $93 million to $107.1 million, largely because of $21.1 million in additional revenue from the new Presque Isle casino, where the average win per machine per day was $311. Revenue from Mountaineer was down $5.3 million in the quarter, according to the statements, or 8 percent.

Interest payments on the company's debt, which was $353 million at the end of the quarter, compared with $272 million at the end of the quarter last year, was $6.3 million, compared with $3.5 million last year.

Parimutuel revenue at the company's racetracks, which include Scioto Downs in Ohio, was down from $3.2 million to $2.8 million.