Saturday, August 19, 2000

What's the Buzz?

Belterra collision delays opening

        Damage to the Miss Belterra floating casino could do more than keep Greater Cincinnatians from traveling to Vevay, Ind., to gamble. It could cause problems for an acquisition of Belterra's California parent company.

        Officials at Belterra Casino & Resort said the July 31 collision with a barge near Cairo, Ill., would delay the planned Monday opening until well into the fall.

        The Miss Belterra will be the third riverboat casino in southeastern Indiana, following the Argosy Casino in Lawrenceburg and Grand Victoria in Rising Sun.

        While the Miss Belterra remains in dry dock in New Orleans, officials at Pinnacle Entertainment are trying to rescue a merger with Harveys Casino Resorts. One provision of that deal called for Belterra to be open by Sept. 15.

        Pinnacle will try to get that provision waived, it said in a federal filing last week. The company also should be fully insured for the accident, it said.

— Cliff Peale

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