Indiana Live makes staff reductions

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana Live laid off about 30 members of its 800-person staff this week as the race track and casino’s owners sort through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

A spokesman for the Shelbyville facility’s operator, Indianapolis Downs LLC, said Friday morning that the move is part of an effort to improve the company’s operations.

“We are implementing some policy changes that eliminate the need for certain staff,” Mike Geczi, an Indianapolis Downs spokesman, said in an e-mail. “We also need to adjust certain areas that had become too layered with staff over time.”

The layoffs include several service positions. Geczi wouldn’t provide additional details but said they were “across all departments.”

A person familiar with the situation said the layoffs were “clearly connected” to the bankruptcy as those restructuring the company’s debt look for ways to cut costs.

In a bankruptcy filing last month, Indianapolis Downs said it would look for operational improvements as one way to strengthen its finances. The company, whose main shareholder is South Bend-based Oliver Racing LLC, increased its revenue by about 9 percent last year, to $270 million, but has struggled to keep up with debt payments.

Indianapolis Downs reported roughly $550 million in institutional debt in its bankruptcy filing. That was brought on in part by lofty spending to build its facility and the $250 million it paid the state to get a license for slots. 
Ross Mangano, chairman of Oliver Racing, declined to comment Friday morning on the layoffs.

Ernie Yelton, executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission, said the layoffs didn’t cause immediate concern for the agency since the number is not huge. The commission monitors staffing reductions if they have an impact on quality of service at a casino.

But Yelton said the gaming commission would continue to monitor Indiana Live's situation, since layoffs don’t typically coincide with bankruptcy filings.

“We’re not certain this reduction in staff is related to the bankruptcy. Our understanding is a lot of it is performance-related,” Yelton said. “We want to be aware of any potential consequences of bankruptcy, particularly when it’s something we’ve not seen before.”

Indianapolis Downs has yet to hire a new external manager for the facility as the company remains tangled in a separate legal dispute with its former manager, Maryland-based Cordish Cos.

In a $600 million suit filed in February, Cordish accused Indianapolis Downs and others of trying to sabotage the company's plans to build a casino in Maryland. Cordish also claims Indianapolis Downs failed to pay $8.4 million in management fees and made false accusations when Cordish refused to drop its bid to collect the money.

This week, Indianapolis Downs filed a motion in its bankruptcy case asking the court to suspend that litigation. 


  • yikes
    I'm a gambler, but wish they would really close their doors.
  • subsidies
    It doesn't help that both of Indiana's racinos are forced to subsidize their competition. I know for a fact that French Lick is subsidized, and I believe that the Hollywood casino is as well. if these casinos would pay their players, then the need for subsidization would no longer exist. If the casino can't keep it's players by paying a goodly amount of winners, then why should those that do be forced to file bankruptcy by helping the ones that don't?
  • Stigma
    These thieving so called businesses are the most mismanaged and money laundering operations to date! They are a stigma on society and serve no real purpose other than to rake in the bucks and then claim they are not making it only to file bankruptcy. They should be liquidated and sent packing and any monies recovered should go to the public!
    • Stigma
      These thieving so called businesses are the most mismanaged and money laundering operations to date! They are a stigma on society and serve no real purpose other than to rake in the bucks and then claim they are not making it only to file bankruptcy. They should be liquidated and sent packing and any monies recovered should go to the public!

    Post a comment to this story

    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Hiking blocks to an office after fighting traffic is not logical. Having office buildings around the loop, 465 and in cities in surrounding counties is logical. In other words, counties around Indianapolis need office buildings like Keystone, Meridian, Michigan Road/College Park and then no need to go downtown. Financial, legal, professional businesses don't need the downtown when Carmel, Fishers, North Indy are building their own central office buildings close to the professionals. The more Hamilton, Boone county attract professionals, the less downtown is relevant. Highrises have no meaning if they don't have adequate parking for professionals and clients. Great for show, but not exactly downtown Chicago, no lakefront, no river to speak of, and no view from highrises of lake Michigan and the magnificent mile. Indianapolis has no view.

    2. "The car count, THE SERIES, THE RACING, THE RATINGS, THE ATTENDANCE< AND THE MANAGEMENT, EVERY season is sub-par." ______________ You're welcome!

    3. that it actually looked a lot like Sato v Franchitti @Houston. And judging from Dario's marble mouthed presentation providing "color", I'd say that he still suffers from his Dallara inflicted head injury._______Considering that the Formula E cars weren't going that quickly at that exact moment, that was impressive air time. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, as Dallara is the only car builder that needs an FAA certification for their cars. But flying Dallaras aren't new. Just ask Dan Wheldon.

    4. Does anyone know how and where I can get involved and included?

    5. While the data supporting the success of educating our preschoolers is significant, the method of reaching this age group should be multi-faceted. Getting business involved in support of early childhood education is needed. But the ways for businesses to be involved are not just giving money to programs and services. Corporations and businesses educating their own workforce in the importance of sending a child to kindergarten prepared to learn is an alternative way that needs to be addressed. Helping parents prepare their children for school and be involved is a proven method for success. However, many parents are not sure how to help their children. The public is often led to think that preschool education happens only in schools, daycare, or learning centers but parents and other family members along with pediatricians, librarians, museums, etc. are valuable resources in educating our youngsters. When parents are informed through work lunch hour workshops in educating a young child, website exposure to exceptional teaching ideas that illustrate how to encourage learning for fun, media input, and directed community focus on early childhood that is when a difference will be seen. As a society we all need to look outside the normal paths of educating and reaching preschoolers. It is when methods of involving the most important adult in a child's life - a parent, that real success in educating our future workers will occur. The website www.ifnotyouwho.org is free and illustrates activities that are research-based, easy to follow and fun! Businesses should be encouraging their workers to tackle this issue and this website makes it easy for parents to be involved. The focus of preschool education should be to inspire all the adults in a preschooler's life to be aware of what they can do to prepare a child for their future life. Fortunately we now know best practices to prepare a child for a successful start to school. Is the business community ready to be involved in educating preschoolers when it becomes more than a donation but a challenge to their own workers?