Boyd may have to dump Delta Downs track

Dec 11, 2001 7:37 AM

Flustered by adverse court rulings in Louisiana, Boyd Gaming says it may have to sell its newly acquired Delta Downs horsetrack.

Boyd planned to install 1,700 slot machines to bolster business at the Vinton, La., track. But a state judge denied Boyd’s request for a license pending resolution of a lawsuit filed by Isle of Capri.

Isle of Capri, a nearby competitor with a dockside casino in Lake Charles, contends that the track’s former owner, Shawn Scott, still has an economic interest in Delta Downs and that no license should be granted until he has undergone a suitability check. Scott purchased the bankrupt Vacation Village at auction for $17.8 million last month. Earlier, he bought the Flamingo hotel-casino in Reno.

Boyd, which has spent $35 million in expanding and renovating Delta Downs, has appealed its case to the Louisiana Supreme Court. But in an SEC filing, Boyd said it was not certain it could prevail. If the lower court is not overturned, Boyd said it would consider selling the racetrack.

Boyd was initially granted a gaming license by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board in October. But a state district court stayed the effect of the gaming license to operate slot machines, pending an outcome on Isle of Capri’s petition.