Ohio racinos delayed
Construction on two Ohio “racinos” will be delayed after regulators decided to require more enclosed seating from which spectators can view two racetracks.
The Ohio State Racing Commission voted to require Penn National Gaming to add 650 more seats in climate-controlled areas at tracks in Dayton and Austintown, a Youngstown suburb.
Officials from Penn National say redesigning the racinos delays the projects by several months at least.
The commission previously demanded more seating at the Lebanon racino being built in southwest Ohio. The panel is concerned that racinos might emphasize video lottery gambling more and short-change fans of live horse racing.
New rules allow Ohio’s horse tracks to add slots-like gambling. Some tracks are renovating to add the video terminal games, while others are building new tracks.
Corn shortage possible
Corn supplies in the United States, the biggest grower, are shrinking at the fastest pace in almost four decades as improving demand from ethanol refiners drains reserves already diminished by drought.
Stockpiles probably fell 38 percent in three months to 4.995 billion bushels by March 1, the biggest drop since 1975, according to the average of 31 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg News.
AgResource Co. in Chicago and Northstar Commodity Investments Inc. in Minneapolis expect prices to jump 12 percent to $8.25 a bushel before supply rebounds with a record harvest in September.
After idling refining capacity when corn reached a record in August, ethanol plants expanded output since January as falling grain costs and rising fuel prices drove profit margins to a nine-month high. Demand from the industry, which uses two of every five bushels in the U.S., provides the “strongest upside risk” for corn, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said March 11. That’s boosting feed costs for meat and dairy producers even as global food prices extend their longest slump since 2009.
“Corn supplies are going to be tighter than we have ever seen,” said Kent Jessen, the director of merchandising for West Des Moines, Iowa-based Heartland Cooperative, which has 52 grain terminals across 17 counties. “Some people are going to run out of corn this summer. Ethanol processors are the best bid for corn, and that is drawing supplies away from exporters and livestock producers.”
— Beacon Journal wire reports