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MTR Gaming buys Ohio harness track

August 07, 2003

CHESTER, W.Va. (AP) - MTR Gaming Group Inc. has completed its acquisition of an Ohio harness racing track for more than $19 million.

MTR paid $32 per share in cash for 595,767 outstanding shares of Scioto Downs' common stock, the company said Wednesday.

Scioto Downs' shareholders had approved the sale in July.

Scioto Downs now is a wholly owned subsidiary of MTR, which is the parent company of Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in Chester.

"The property is a perfect fit with our strategy to diversify and leverage our expertise by building or acquiring other middle-market gaming and/or pari-mutuel businesses in states that border West Virginia," said Ted Arneault, MTR's president and chief executive officer.

MTR has permission to build Presque Isle Downs, a $56 million, 6,500-seat racetrack near Erie, Pa. But Pittsburgh Palisades LLC has appealed the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission's granting of the license to Presque Isle Downs Inc., an MTR subsidiary.

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MTR said Wednesday that it plans to intervene in the appeal.

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