Churchill Downs Plans to Open a Gaming Venue in Louisville, KY

The owner of the Churchill Downs racetrack announced on Thursday that it is planning to make a move in downtown Kentucky by opening a new casino-style venue. Churchill Downs is well-known as the home of arguably the most popular horse racing event in the US – the Kentucky Derby.

Derby City Gaming Downton is set to be the name of the new gaming facility. With it, the company is becoming far more committed to forming betting on historical horse races. In a news release, Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) stated that the 50 historical horse racing machines will be opened in the venue. These machines will be slot-styled and will allow people to bet on past horse races that are randomly generated. Condensed horse races are typically shown in the games.

These types of ventures have proven to provide Kentucky racetracks with quite a big profit. Some of the revenue that the tracks made was reinvested in order to make the Bluegrass State’s circuit a bit more competitive and have casino-backed tracks in states across the US.

The new venue by CDI is projected to open in 2023, and will be located five miles from the historic racetrack where numerous well-known events are taking place, including the Triple Crown’s first leg. Additionally, construction will begin at the end of this year and the venue will occupy an area of 43,000 square feet.

As Much as $12 Million to Be Generated Every Year

There will be massive benefits for the community with this project, as the CEO of CDI, Bill Carstanjen, stated that $10 million to $12 million can be generated in additional purse money for Churchill Downs-hosted races. There’s no denying the fact that CDI is getting back on track with its revenue, as it is also likely to sell the Arlington International Racecourse in Illinois to the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

Carstanjen also added that the company is committed to creating an economic vibrancy for every area of the community. Once development starts, 350 construction jobs will be opened and, when the venue opens, 100 permanent jobs will be available, as stated by the company. Its location will be strategic as it will be situated near the convention center in downtown Louisville, as well as in the vicinity of numerous hotels.

Louisville has become a massive tourist attraction for bourbon tourists who are looking to visit the distilleries in the city. According to CDI, the new venue will feature several bars, a retail store that features merchandise themed by Kentucky Derby, as well as an open-gaming area.

At the moment, casino gaming in Kentucky is considered illegal, but historical horse racing venues are allowed to offer their services to the residents. When the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled last year that some forms of betting on historical horse races did not meet the standards of pari-mutuel wagering, the ventures were jeopardized. The good news is that lawmakers passed a measure this year that has the intention of fixing the cited flaws.

CDI also runs another facility on horse racing betting. Derby City Gaming is located a few miles from the track in South Louisville.

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