More trouble at the races — Hoosier Park files for bankruptcy

Right on the heels of the news about the bankruptcy of one thoroughbred racing’s most prominent horse owners, comes the news that an entire racetrack has sought bankruptcy protection.

Matt Hegarty of the Daily Racing Form reported that the parent company of Hoosier Park filed a Chapter 11 case this morning, after failing to make $13.4M in payments to its two biggest creditors last fall.

The bankruptcy comes as a surprise, since the central Indiana track has been operating 2,000 slot machines as well as owning a casino in Colorado, in addition to hosting flat and harness racing.

Although slot licenses, similar to those proposed for Massachusetts and New Hampshire racetracks, typically provide a buffer against hard times, Hoosier’s filing underscores how deeply consumers are cutting back on gambling as a form of discretionary entertainment as the recession rolls on and on.

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