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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. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.

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