Churchill Downs lays out casino development slate in Kentucky, Virginia

February 21, 2024 8:30 PM
Photo: Churchill Downs
  • David McKee, CDC Gaming Reports
February 21, 2024 8:30 PM

Kentucky will open its seventh Churchill Downs-branded casino in early 2025. The 700-gaming-machine Owensboro Racing & Gaming will debut between January and March of next year, a development announced late Wednesday.

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Situated on 20 acres at the junction of US 60 and Wright’s Landing Road, the gambling parlor will be stocked with ‘historical horse racing’ machines (HHR). It will also feature “a retail sportsbook, simulcast wagering, and multiple food and beverage offerings,” according to a formal Churchill Downs statement.

Operated under the aegis of Ellis Park Racing & Gaming, the Owensboro facility is budgeted at $100 million. Proceeds from the HHR will be used to underwrite Ellis Park race purses.

Elaborated Churchill Downs CEO William Carstanjen, “We are proud to announce this investment in the Kentucky horse racing industry as we celebrate 150 years of the Kentucky Derby. In addition to delivering a premier gaming and entertainment experience to Daviess County, this project will build on the success of Ellis Park’s racing product and further contribute to a healthy and sustainable horse racing circuit in Kentucky.”

In the same afternoon, Churchill Downs announced an even larger project with a shorter timeline. The Rose Gaming Resort is slated for a late-September rollout with 1,650 HHR. The company originally planned 1,150 gambling devices for The Rose and gave no explanation for the increase.

Located in Dumfries, Virginia, The Rose will offer 102 hotel rooms and eight food-and-beverage outlets at a cost of $460 million. In addition, 2,450 parking spaces will be on tap and a second phase will be announced at a later date.

Churchill Downs estimates that The Rose will generate yearly taxes on the order of $35.5 million, along with 500 full- and part-time jobs. On top of the tax bill, Churchill Downs is making a one-time contribution to Dumfries of $5.6 million, proceeds of which will partly go toward the creation of an adjacent public park and a new community center.

Said Carstanjen, “We’re proud to invest nearly a half-billion dollars in northern Virginia and create local jobs and a world-class gaming destination.”