Friday, September 18, 2009

Harrah’s makes VLT licensing payment for Thistledown


New Thistledown owner Harrah’s Entertainment has registered its initial installment payment of $13-million for a video lottery terminal license in Ohio.

Harrah’s is the first owner of a Thoroughbred track in Ohio to make the first of five installment payments that will total $65-million. On Thursday, Harrah’s committed $13-million to escrow until its purchase of Thistledown is complete.

While River Downs and Beulah Park both submitted applications for VLTs and a $100,000 application fee, neither track submitted the $13-million installment. Currently the Ohio Lottery is adding a daily late fee of $100,000 to each track’s eventual license fee.

Beulah Park said it is unable to get financing because it is involved in a lawsuit with Penn National Gaming over an ownership option. River Downs declined to make the installment payment while the Ohio Supreme Court considers litigation that could overturn the state’s approval of VLTs for tracks.