Commission grants preliminary approval for Churchill Downs to of - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Commission grants preliminary approval for Churchill Downs to offer historical horse race wagering in 1 year

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission granted preliminary approval Tuesday for Churchill Downs to move forward with a proposal to offer historical horse race wagering at its old Trackside facility in one year.

Calling the proposal a, "significant investment for Churchill Downs, Louisville and Kentucky," Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery said the track would want to begin in a year. The plan would involve a $50-60 million investment in facilities set up at the old Trackside off Poplar Level Road.

"This will be a significant investment that will create about 250 jobs in the construction of the facility," Flanery said. "One-hundred-plus full-time jobs to operate the facility and perhaps most importantly, enhanced purses for our horsemen at Churchill Downs year round." 

The commission granted preliminary approval, with one member voting against the proposal. The vote means Churchill Downs can move forward with the planning process.

"We look at the games and ask ourselves all along, is it something we think the customers will enjoy?" Flanery said. "And we're in the process of developing games that we'll bring back to the commission."

Churchill Downs still needs final approval for the gaming machines required for the proposal. But if all goes according to plan, construction could start later this year with a grand opening in the summer of 2018.

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