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Hoosier Park In Anderson Working To Get Out Of Debt

Last updated on Friday, October 9, 2009

(ANDERSON) - Anderson’s Hoosier Park Racetrack and Casino says it’s optimistic about talks with creditors on restructuring parent company centaur’s debt.

Centaur CEO Rod Ratcliff warned a legislative study committee in August the track could fold if the state doesn't reduce its tax burden.

But he denies a media report that the company is "on the brink of bankruptcy."

Hoosier Park and the state's other racino, Indiana Live, have asked legislators to bring their tax bill in line with what riverboat casinos pay.

Hoosier Park General Manager James L. Brown believes they're receptive, but says the even-year short session next year may delay action till 2011.

The racinos pay out 47-percent of their revenue, compared to an average of 38-percent for the riverboats.

Some legislators argue it's inappropriate to include racetrack purses in the payout figure, since that's a standard expense.

Factoring out the purses cuts the tax disparity to one-percent.

Indiana racinos pay more than counterparts in Iowa, or traditional casinos in Illinois, Michigan and Missouri.

Ohio voters will decide next month to allow racinos -- the Ohio Lottery has set a 50-percent tax rate on revenues if the referendum passes.

Hoosier Park contends it hasn't recovered from the $250 million licensing fee the state set as the price of allowing the addition of slot machines at the track.

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