by Hector San Miguel
Slot machines at Delta Downs in Vinton, La., have generated almost $13 million in purse money in less than eight months this year, according to financial records released by the Louisiana State Gaming Control Board.
More than one million patrons have ventured to Delta Downs since the slots went online Feb. 13. They have pushed more than $85 million through the gaming devices. The racetrack, owned by Boyd Gaming, has 1,394 slot machines and 100 video poker machines.
Boyd officials have said the track's slots parlor has exceeded their "initial expectations." Boyd, based in Las Vegas, Nev., has spent nearly $8 million in improvements at the track located not far from the Texas border.
A building permit filed by Delta Downs with Calcasieu Parish Aug. 27 calls for construction of a 6,000-square-foot jockeys' quarters at a cost of $600,000.
The track is required to pay 15% of gross revenue from gaming to the purse fund. From Feb. 13 through September, slots have generated $12.8 million for purses. The racetrack has announced plans for an expanded stakes schedule this fall and winter, including a $500,000 race for 2-year-olds.
The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders' Association gets 2% of the gross revenue from the slots. The breeders' fund has earned $712,005 thus far.