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Indiana Downs closing Evansville off-track site

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An off-track, pari-mutuel betting parlor in Evansville is set to close as the central Indiana-based company that owns it remains in bankruptcy protection.

The off-track site owned by Indiana Downs of Shelbyville will be shut down June 10, television station WFIE reported.

Indiana Downs officials had complained about the off-track site not being exempted from the city's smoking ban ordinance at a time when it faces greater competition from Ellis Park horse track in nearby Henderson, Ky.

Indianapolis Downs LLC, which also owns the Indiana Live casino near Shelbyville and a Clarksville OTB, filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2011.

Evansville OTB patron Ron Reutter said he believed it had struggled against Ellis Park, partly because it can simulcast Kentucky races.

"The business has been down with Ellis opening up and they are supposed to get slot machines and they can get the Kentucky signal, and that's the biggest attraction for horse bettors around here," Reutter said.

Phone messages left by The Associated Press on Friday for Indiana Downs officials weren't immediately returned.

Evansville's smoking ban, which went effect April 1, exempts the Casino Aztar gambling floor, but applies to all bars and private clubs in the city, along with the Indiana Downs OTB.

The owner of central Indiana's other horse track and casino — Hoosier Park in Anderson — emerged from bankruptcy protection in October. Both operations have struggled since borrowing heavily to pay $250 million state licensing fees to add slot machines and other electronic games in 2008.

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  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

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  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

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