MTR Gaming's Purchase of Scioto Downs Approved

By John Kady

The sale of Scioto Downs Harness Racing Track to MTR Gaming has been approved by Scioto shareholders.

Marty Evans, a spokesman for the Ohio Racing Commssion, said the commission would probably put the final stamp of approval on the sale at a commisson meeting at River Downs in Cincinnati on Aug. 18.
MTR officials said all paperwork should be completed by July 31.

The MTR Group, which owns Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming resort at Chester, W. va. paid $19 million for the Columbus track.

When the purchase is finalized, Scioto Downs will be a wholly owned subsidary of MTR Gaming.

When MTR first announced its intentions to purchase the track late last year, officials hoped Ohio would be ready to legalize video lottery terminals at the state's seven race tracks.

However, that attempt died in the legislature and proponents now will be looking at either reintroducing it in the legislature or putting it on the ballot in November, 2004.

The state has a primary election in March but under state law a constitutional amendment can only be voted on in a general election.