Indiana casino expansion cancelled
Pinnacle Entertainment has
announced that it will indefinitely postpone the planned
expansion of the Belterra Casino in Indiana.
The decision comes after the
state's legislators approved a bill which would allow up to
2,000 slot machines to be added to the two Indiana horse racing
tracks. Money from the riverboat expansion project will be
shifted to other venues, announced Pinnacle. The slot machines
at the horse tracks will attract enough customers to make the
expansion project unprofitable, thus the company had to pull the
The expansion of the hotel,
which has 608 rooms, was announced in January 2006, and would
have made Belterra the largest hotel in the state of Indiana.
Almost 20% of the customers at Belterra Casino come from
Indianapolis and the casino management believes that most of
them will start going to the race tracks once the slot machines
The gambling expansion at the
Indiana race tracks was passed after long debates, and would
provide much needed property tax relief, according to the
supporters of the bill.
Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE:PNK)
is a Las-Vegas based company, owns and operates casinos in US
and other countries. Yesterday, the closed Sands Casino in
Atlantic City, also owned by Pinnacle Ent., burned over $60
million in old chips from the non-operational casino. Pinnacle
plans to level the Sands in the fall and build a bigger casino.
Most likely, the funds set aside for the Indiana casino
expansion will now be funnelled to the new Atlantic City casino.