Boyd Makes Payment to Former Delta Owner

by Hector San Miguel

Boyd Gaming, which owns Delta Downs in Vinton, La., has paid $5.1 million to former owner Shawn Scott for his remaining interest in a proposed slot-machine parlor at the racetrack, according to recent filings by Boyd with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The payment to Scott brings the final purchase price for the racetrack to $130.1 million. Scott, 35, of Las Vegas, Nev., bought the track in 1999 for $10 million.

A state district judge lifted an injunction Dec. 14 after Scott was paid the additional money. It had prevented Boyd's license from going into effect to operate slot machines at the track. The injunction came down Nov. 20 after the Isle of Capri filed a lawsuit contending Scott still had an economic interest in the track.

Under the sale contract, Scott was supposed to receive another $27 million on top of the $125 million purchase price if certain criteria were met. The judge in the case ruled Scott had to undergo financial and criminal background checks because of the possible $27-million payment. Boyd's final solution was to get Scott to take a $5.1-million payment in lieu of the $27 million, according to the company.

"It eliminates the possibility of any future payments to the owners," said Rob Stillwell, a Boyd spokesman. "We owe him no more money and aren't obligated to him."

Scott was able to get a referendum passed in the local parish in 1999 after he bought the track. The referendum allowed a 15,000-square-foot slots parlor at the track. Scott sold the track earlier this year after he ran into problems with the state police on a suitability investigation.

Boyd Gaming now hopes to get its slots-parlor configuration approved by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board in January so it can open. Boyd has already spent $35 million on improvements at the track, located not far from the Texas border.

Scott, meanwhile, reportedly made a $17.8-million offer to buy the Vacation Village casino in Las Vegas. The 24-acre, 325-room casino/hotel is located at southernmost end of the "Strip." The transfer of ownership is expected Dec. 20.

Scott has also filed applications in New Mexico to open a $30-million racetrack and slot-machine casino next year on 600 acres to 700 acres in Hobbs. The racetrack and casino would cover about 200 acres of the site.