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Gaming board OKs Louisiana horse racing track, casino sale

October 25, 2021 GMT

BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) — The state Gaming Control Board has approved the $22 million sale of a northwest Louisiana horse racing track and casino.

Rubico Acquisition Corp. still needs approval from the Louisiana Racing Commission, which meets Tuesday, to buy Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

“This is a big win for everyone involved,” Rubico President Kevin Preston, said in a statement released Friday to news outlets.

The track is “an iconic institution” in Bossier City and Northwest Louisiana, and “our plan is to restore it as a place of entertainment for the entire family,” he said.

Rubico also plans to add games and concessions to the casino.

Caesars Entertainment Inc., based in Reno, Nevada, will get $16.5 million and VICI Properties Inc. $5.5 million from the sale, the companies said last year.

Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns said during Thursday’s meeting that he believes the sale is critical, The Times of Shreveport reported.

“I really believe if this sale didn’t go through Caesars would ultimately close the facility; the company just isn’t interested in operating a horse racetrack,” Johns said.

He said casino profits have preserved the track, which Rubico must keep open under the sale agreement.