Hoosier Park officials were given the green light Aug. 21 to break ground on a proposed 92,000 square-foot slot-machine casino.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved preliminary plans for the facility, clearing the way for construction to begin. The vote was the final hurdle for Centaur Racing, owner of Hoosier Park, which received approval from the Anderson Board of Zoning Appeals the evening of Aug. 20.
“We’ve gone through several different scenarios and have come back to this one for several reasons,” Centaur Racing chief executive officer Jeff Smith told commissioners of the plan for a permanent facility located to the north of Hoosier Park’s existing facility. “We’re still working on project costs. The construction timeline is still in process.”
Smith and Hoosier Park president Rick Moore presented commissioners with a series of renderings, showing not only the proposed casino, which will house 2,000 slot machines, but also some of the renovations planned for the current facility. They told those in attendance the community and local legislators are excited about the project.
Smith said Centaur plans to build a facility that “has a bit of pizzazz to it.” He also told commissioners the project would be complete by the end of next year, if not sooner. More details could be available in mid-September, he said.
Meanwhile, the racing commission approved the transfer of a minority interest in Indiana Downs to majority owner Oliver Racing. The South Bend, Ind.-based company purchased LHT Capital’s 34.34% interest for $58 million. Oliver Racing now holds a 95% interest in the Shelbyville track.
The terms of sale call for LHT Capital to pay a $9-million transfer fee to the state of Indiana. The fee is earmarked for property tax relief in the state. Indiana Downs attorney Lee McNeeley told commissioners that, upon approval, the sale would close in two business days.
Indiana Downs also is working on plans to build a slots facility.