Indiana Live parent files for bankruptcy protection

IBJ Staff
April 7, 2011
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The parent company of the Indiana Live racetrack and casino in Shelbyville announced Thursday morning that it is reorganizing under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Indianapolis Downs LLC filed the bankruptcy petitions in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

Both of Indiana’s racetrack-casinos now have declared bankruptcy. Indianapolis-based Centaur LLC, owner of Anderson’s Hoosier Park & Casino, is emerging from bankruptcy after gaining approval for its reorganization plan in February.

The two borrowed heavily to pay the $250 million state-mandated slots-license fee and to build their gambling facilities. They say steep state tax bills also have dragged down results.

Meanwhile, Indianapolis Downs said in a press release that it generates enough revenue to pay expenses but is operating under a debt burden significantly greater than anticipated.

Indianapolis Downs attributed much of its financial distress to the $250 million fee.

The company’s overall debt totaled $544 million as of 2009, the most recent period available.

“This filing is unlike many debt restructuring cases because Indianapolis Downs has steadily grown its revenue and market share since operating,” said Gregory F. Rayburn, Indianapolis Downs’ chief restructuring officer, in a written statement. “Indiana Live and Indiana Downs racino is an operationally profitable but new business that has not yet achieved its full potential.”

Indiana Live brought in $244 million in 2009, according to a financial audit. But the revenue stream hasn’t been enough to cover expenses, which include massive interest payments.

At least two other operators have shown an interest in buying the struggling racino.

In November, Standard and Poor’s downgraded Indiana Live’s credit rating to D after the company missed an interest payment.

Both the racetrack and casino will continue to operate as usual during the restructuring and there should be no interruption in services, the company said.

Indiana Live’s controlling shareholder is South Bend-based Oliver Racing LLC.



  • Step 1: Replace Screens With Real Gaming
    Get rid of the incredibly lame Electronic Screens and I will then regularly visit Indiana Live. If I want to stare at a screen to play, I'll just fire up the PS3.

    Not sure if they've added it, but a well-advertised shuttle from Indy to Indiana Live should be a must. A "captive audience" for a Casino should be something they jump on and would give an alternative to drinking and driving.

    It's a nice facility and not too far away from both Indy and Cincy. However, PLEASE lose the Screens. Electronic Gaming is cheap, unrealistic, and takes away from the feel and "liveliness" of table games.

    Blackjack and Poker on a Screen in a Casino?!?
  • Smoking
    Maybe the casinos ought to re-think their opposition to the smoking ban, may help their business. One time in a casino was enough, the no-smoking area was a joke.
  • GOP Deal in the Making
    Watch for Daniels to offer them a huge tax break/refund to keep them in business. After all, they contribute to the GOP and Mitch has a track record of taking money from con artists who felony charged friends.
  • Somethings Gotta Give
    I think it's only a matter of time before a couple of casinos go belly up. Forget the huge fee they agreed to pay and are now complaining about. There is no "right" to keep these casinos in business. There are just too many in Indiana to make a profit. The novelty has worn off and casual gamblers are saving their money.
  • Bill passes
    If Mitch's bill passes will he be able to charge the jockey a toll fee without tne legislature acting?

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  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...