Gaming Company to Buy Half of Evangeline Downs

Peninsula Gaming Partners announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire 50% of Evangeline Downs, a racetrack near Lafayette, La.

Whether the transaction becomes final depends on financing and regulatory approvals from the Louisiana State Racing Commission and the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. If the deal is approved, Peninsula Gaming will manage the existing racetrack and will design, construct, manage and operate a new casino and contiguous racetrack facility with pari-mutuel wagering, slots and OTB parlors in nearby Opelousas, La.

Evangeline Downs intends to move from its home in Lafayette Parish because residents here defeated a referendum that would have allowed the racetrack to operate slot machines. The track is moving north to St. Landry Parish. Evangeline Downs has an option on 550 acres and is expected to spend $70 million to $100 million on a new one-mile racetrack, a turf course, and casino.

"The acquisition represents a significant step in achieving our goal of disciplined growth in selected markets," said Brent Stevens, chairman and chief executive for Peninsula Gaming. "We are particularly delighted to have as our local partner William Trotter, the existing 50% owner of OED and a longstanding prominent Lafayette businessman."

Peninsula Gaming owns and operates the "Diamond Jo" casino, the only riverboat gaming facility in Dubuque, Iowa, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Peninsula Gaming Company.