The income tax benefit for 2012 was $2.5 million compared to a benefit of $3.2 million for the prior year. Lakes’ income tax benefit in 2012 and 2011 was primarily due to the Company’s ability to carry back its estimated taxable losses to a prior year and receive a refund of taxes previously paid.
Tim Cope, President and Chief Financial Officer of Lakes stated, “We continue to move forward with the renovation of our recently acquired AAA Four Diamond Award® winning Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort near Cumberland, Maryland. Upon completion, the gaming facility will feature approximately 550 video lottery terminals, 10 table games, a casino-center bar and a new hotel lobby bar/food outlet. We currently expect the gaming facility to open in the second quarter of 2013. In addition, we plan to begin construction of an event center at Rocky Gap during the second quarter of 2013 which we expect to open during the fourth quarter of this year. During the fourth quarter of 2012, we closed on a $17.5 million financing facility that will be used to finance a portion of the Rocky Gap renovation project. This financing will allow us flexibility in evaluating new opportunities where we can potentially utilize the remaining cash on our balance sheet to increase shareholder value.” Mr. Cope continued, “Management fees from the Red Hawk Casino were up over the prior year fourth quarter and overall compared to 2011 due to continued improvements in performance at this property. We continue to work closely with Red Hawk’s executive team, as well as the Shingle Springs Tribal Gaming Authority, to manage this property as efficiently as possible.”
Further commenting, Lyle Berman, Chief Executive Officer of Lakes stated, “We continue to maintain a 10% ownership interest in Rock Ohio Ventures, LLC and its casino developments in Ohio, including the open and operating Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, the recently opened Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, and the Thistledown Racino which is expected to go live with VLT’s next month.” Mr. Berman continued, “We remain focused on managing our existing business as efficiently as possible while evaluating new investments.”