Dover Downs loses money again

DOVER — Dover Downs lost $137,000 in the third quarter of 2017, leaving it $289,000 in the red through nine months of the year.

The casino announced the figures Thursday in its quarterly filing. Dover Downs made $520,000 in the July through September period of 2016 and was up $1.08 million at this point last year.

“It should be apparent that the state’s gaming revenue sharing formula is unsustainable when considering that the company has paid out $56.4 million to the state and the horsemen, while incurring a pretax loss of $366,000 through the first nine months of the year,” company President and CEO Denis McGlynn said in a statement. “We will continue to pursue a more equitable approach to this industry.”

The Video Lottery Advisory Council discussed last week what recommended changes it will present to lawmakers soon, and members are poised to approve the same suggestions of the past three years but in a different order.

At the top of the council’s list is slashing the table game tax rate from 29.4 percent to 15 percent and eliminating the annual $3 million fee. The current tax rate is the highest in the country, according to the VLAC.

The state began offering table games like roulette, craps and blackjack in 2010, but the costs make it “unprofitable,” the VLAC said in prior recommendations.

Other proposals would change the tax rate, shift more of the costs of slot machines to the state and add credits for capital development and marketing.

Efforts to find legislative relief have failed the past three years.

Dover Downs’ revenue is down $5.6 million so far this year as compared to 2016.

The company made a profit the previous two years after losing $706,000 in 2014. It is currently $21.5 million in debt.

 

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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