OSRC to Consider River Downs Meet Transfer

Beulah Park would take over this year's meet because of casino construction.

by John Kady

The Ohio State Racing Commission will consider a request from River Downs to move its 2013 meet to Beulah Park, agency chairman Robert Schmitz said Feb. 6.

The plan has been in works for months, with the actual agreement in the hands of attorneys. The OSRC is scheduled to hold its next meeting Feb. 21.

The meet transfer is necessary because River Downs owner Pinnacle Entertainment has leveled the facility and plans to construct a new racetrack casino with video lottery terminals. The project involves some barn demolition and moving the dirt track and turf course about one-sixteenth of a mile.

Bob Tenenbaum, a spokesman Penn National Gaming Inc., which owns Beulah Park, said the company is working with River Downs to facilitate the transfer if approved by regulators. Tenenbaum said PNGI will present its support of the plan at an OSRC meeting in the near future.

Schmitz also said proposals to permanently move the racing license from Beulah Park near Columbus to the Youngstown area and PNGI-owned Raceway Park in Toledo to Dayton would probably be acted on by the end of March. PNGI requested the transfers because it has constructed full-scale casinos near both racetracks and did not want to be in competition with itself in those markets.