Churchill Downs Shows Interest in Louisville Casino Project
Churchill Downs is considering opening up a new casino venue in the downtown area of Louisville.
In most states across the US, casino gaming is offered. There are multiple venues in many states, with some companies offering more than one facility. It is quite common for a gaming operator to own multiple properties in one state or across the nation. As legislation allows, more operators are expanding services to branch out into new areas. For Churchill Downs, the operator is most well-known for its racetrack, the home of the Kentucky Derby. The company is now thinking about branching out and creating a casino space in the downtown area of Louisville.
The new entertainment facility would be named Derby City Gaming Downtown and would feature even more options for fans of gambling. Visitors would be able to take part in historical horse racing, with as many as 500 machines on site.
New Venue Plans
Churchill Downs is doubling down on its commitment to historical horse racing with the creation of this new downtown property. The slot style games are a hit among players, especially horse race fans. The games play like a slot and allow players to bet on past horse races. The outcomes are randomly generated, which creates a fair atmosphere for all players.
Many racetracks in Kentucky have fared well in offering historical horse race machines and Churchill Downs feels that there is enough support for the games to have their own venue. The property will be 43,000 square feet in size and should open by 2023. It will be located just five miles from the operators race track.
Construction on the facility should begin later this year and is expected to bring from $10 million to $12 million annually in additional purse funds for the Churchill Downs venue.
Bringing an Alternative to Casino Gaming
In Kentucky, casino gaming is illegal. However, legislation allows for operators to offer historical horse racing machines. So, even though the state cannot offer slots or table games, gamblers can access something similar with the horse race machines.
It was believed that the games might be in jeopardy in 2020 when the state’s Supreme Court ruled that some of the games do not meet the standards of pari-mutuel wagering. To ensure no further issues, lawmakers in the state decided to create a bill this year to fix any issues seen by the court last year.
Churchill Downs already offers historical horse racing at a facility in Louisville and this second location is expected to be just as popular at Derby City Gaming. Once the construction phase begins for the new facility, it will create around 350 jobs. Once the property is operational, as many as 100 or more positions will become available.
The company decided on the downtown location due to a strategic plan. The facility will be located near several hotels and the downtown convention center. This provides easy access to travelers that are staying in the downtown area or for anyone visiting the convention center for events.
The new gaming property will include an open-air gaming area along with bars. The company plans to include a retail store where visitors can snag merchandise patterned after the Kentucky Derby.
It will be interesting to watch as this new venue is constructed and opened for business. Will it be as popular as Churchill Downs believes it will be? Or perhaps it won’t? All eyes will be on the space as it opens to see how successful the company can be with this new venture.