Race Track Slot Machines Stop Casino Expansion Plans
On May 10, 2007, a planned expansion of the hotel of the Belterra Casino worth $45 million has been canceled. The plan was made after the legislators made the decision to permit the entry of slot machines at two horse racing tracks in Indiana.
The owner of the Belterra Casino, Pinnacle Entertainment, pointed out to the legislation in deciding to temporarily postpone the expansion of the hotel on Ohio River located in the southeastern part of the Switzerland County in Indiana.
The cash allotted for the riverboat casino will be diverted to other concerns, according to Pinnacle Entertainment. Pinnacle Vice President and Regional Manager, Larry Buck, said that it will substantially have an effect on the revenue and capital investment in the market.
The pari-mutuel horse racing tracks in Anderson and Shelbyville will be allowed to offer up to 2,000 slot machines. Supporters of the slots bill commented that it would help the horse racing market while at the same time providing money for tax relief.
Licensing costs for the slot machines will provide the $550 million needed for property tax relief for the residents in the next years. However, Buck said that Pinnacle’s decision was made by a single move for capital investment and is not a direct consequence of the legislation.
Belterra receives around 16% of their profits from the gambling industry and many representatives said that a lot of customers will visit the racing tracks. The casino attracts customers from Louisville Kentucky and Cincinnati. The plan would have added 250 rooms to the existing casino/resort hotel.