Downs’ ownership may have been shorted $2.3 million in 2021 sale

By TONY TAGLAVORE, Journal Sports

The Journal has learned that the amount of money unaccounted for at Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack is $2.3 million, $400,000 more than originally reported, with the situation arising from the sale of the facility.

Last Friday, the Journal wrote that the Louisiana Attorney General’s office was looking into close to $2 million missing from the Downs’ Horseman’s Purse fund. Sunday, a source indicated that exact figure may be $1.9 million, with an additional $400,000 possibly involving money from video poker machines.

Sunday night, the state AG’s office gave the Journal the office’s first public comment on the situation.

“We are aware of the complaint and are working with the Louisiana Racing Commission and the other parties to resolve the matter,” said press secretary Cory Dennis.

The AG’s office is the legal counsel for the Louisiana State Racing Commission, so the office is limited in what it can say.

The Journal has been told the discrepancy involves the transfer of money which was to have occurred when the sale of Louisiana Downs was being closed last February. Caesars Entertainment sold what was then Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino, Racing and Entertainment, to Rubico Acquisition Corporation.

Kevin Preston, President of Rubico Acquisition Corporation, has not responded to requests for comment last week and Sunday evening. 

Preston has been candid and optimistic about his plans to bring Louisiana Downs back to life. The 48-year-old racing facility, which at one time drew large crowds and offered sizeable purses for horsemen, has generated little interest in recent years, but Preston’s leadership has encouraged locals, particularly those involved with the track.

This weekend, the Journal’s original story on the missing funds received national attention. It was picked up by at least two major horse racing publications.

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