Horses may not be able to run at River Downs in 2013 because of construction.

Horses may not be able to run at River Downs in 2013 because of construction.

Courtesy River Downs

Sources: River Downs Sold to Casino Company

Sources said River Downs has been sold to a Las Vegas-based casino company.

River Downs near Cincinnati, Ohio, has been sold to Pinnacle Entertainment, a gaming company that operates a casino in neighboring Indiana, according to sources close to the matter.

The sale, which has been rumored for weeks, couldn’t be confirmed by the principals.

“We are not commenting on those reports,” Pinnacle spokesperson Kerry Anderson said in an Oct. 20 e-mail sent in response to questions about the deal.

River Downs general manager Jack Hanessian couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Oct. 21.

Pinnacle Entertainment, based in Las Vegas, owns casinos in Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, and Nevada. The company owns Belterra Casino, located in Indiana adjacent the Ohio River across from Kentucky and not far from the Cincinnati metropolitan area. The company has no racetrack holdings.

River Downs would become the fifth of seven Ohio racetracks to be owned by casino interests. This year, Beulah Park was sold to Penn National Gaming Inc., and Thistledown was sold to Harrah’s Entertainment.

On the harness side, PNGI owns Raceway Park in Toledo, while MTR Gaming owns Scioto Downs near Columbus.

Four full-scale casinos will be built in Ohio in the next few years. Still pending is a plan to allow the Ohio Lottery to install video lottery terminals at the seven tracks in the state.