Churchill Downs may add slot-like games, hotel at historic racetrack
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Churchill Downs Inc. is considering bringing slot-machine-like historical racing games to its iconic racetrack on Central Avenue, perhaps with an on-site hotel, according to a presentation the Louisville-based company was scheduled to share with investors on Friday.
The company is also eyeing permanent seating at the track’s infield and more upgrades to the grandstand areas to “differentiate” seats for higher ticket prices, according to the presentation.
Churchill Downs declined to comment, according to a representative of the company.
The presentation offers no details about where the historical racing machines would be installed at the track or when.
In September, Churchill Downs opened a $65 million casino-like facility, Derby City Gaming, at 4520 Poplar Level Road.
That facility has 900 historical racing machines, which mimic the experience of slots but actually offer wagers on previously run horse races. And the company noted in the investor presentation that is has the “potential” for 1,100 more machines “at Derby City Gaming or Churchill Downs.”
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in July approved Churchill Downs to operate up to 2,000 historical racing machines as part of the license for Derby City Gaming. The commission’s director didn’t immediately respond when asked if the approval would include machines at the track, 700 Central Ave.
A hotel has long been rumored for the track. The presentation labels a hotel as one “future concept,” but offers no further details.
Churchill Downs has spent millions buying up homes in the neighborhoods immediately west of the track and demolishing them for a large surface parking area and entryway to the facility.
Meanwhile, the company has spent $170 million expanding and renovating the Central Avenue facility since 2010, according to the presentation.
Here is the presentation: