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Hoosier Park parent set to emerge from bankruptcy

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Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s parent company could emerge from bankruptcy early next year if creditors approve a reorganization plan that’s set for a court hearing in Delaware on Feb. 1.

Federal Judge Kevin J. Carey scheduled the proceedings earlier this month after another hearing on Centaur LLC’s plan, submitted Oct. 18. Creditors have until Jan. 19 to file written objections to the proposal.

Centaur filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, listing assets of $584 million and debt of $681 million.

The company owns Hoosier Park casino and horse racetrack in Anderson, along with three off-track betting parlors in Indiana. Hoosier Park’s operations continue, but locally based Centaur is selling off Colorado and Pennsylvania properties to raise cash.

Both Centaur and the owners of Indiana Live racetrack and casino in Shelbyville borrowed heavily after the General Assembly in 2007 allowed the horse tracks to add slot machines in return for a $250 million licensing fee.

The slots parlors, which opened the following year, have drawn smaller crowds than projected, in part because of the recession.

Hoosier Park executive Jim Brown told the Anderson Herald Bulletin that the Indiana facility has not been affected by the legal action.

“This is a corporate debt restructuring,” he told the newspaper. “We believed it would not have an impact on our operations and to date it has not, and we don’t see any impact whatsoever going forward.”

The creditors’ committee sued in November to resolve disputes over how much collateral secures the claims of the first- and second-lien lenders. The committee argued that the lenders didn’t have a security interest in collateral securing a $50 million letter of credit accompanying an application for a gaming license. The committee also said that the lenders couldn’t claim security interests in gaming licenses.

The settlement improves the treatment of three classes of unsecured creditors. The secured creditors will realize less than one-half of 1 percent less as a result of what they gave up, a court filing says.

As a result of the settlement, second-lien lenders are to split $3.4 million in notes that pay in kind. Unsecured creditors of Valley View Downs now will receive the lesser of 50 percent paid in cash or a share of $1.5 million cash. Other general unsecured creditors also will have the lesser of half payment or sharing $650,000 in cash.

The bankruptcy judge approved the sale of the new equity to American Harness Tracks LLC. The acquisition takes effect when the plan is implemented.

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

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