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Churchill Downs completes acquisition of Kentucky’s Turfway Park


Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has finalised its acquisition of Turfway Park in Kentucky from Jack Ohio LLC, an affiliate of Jack Entertainment LLC and Hard Rock International.

The agreement was approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), which allowed it to be finalised.

Under the deal, agreed last week, CDI will pay $46m in cash to take ownership of the racing facility, subject to certain working capital and other purchase price adjustments.

Having secured KHRC approval, CDI withdrew the race dates application related to its previously announced New Latonia Racing & Gaming project in northern Kentucky and confirmed it will no longer pursue this project.

Upon announcing the initial agreement last week, CDI set out plans to demolish the existing grandstand at the venue to make way for a new Turfway Park Racing & Gaming facility.

Set to cost up to $150m, the New Turfway Park project will create up to 400 direct full and part time equivalent jobs. The historical racing machine facility will feature up to 1,500 machines, clubhouse, food and beverage venues and a new inner dirt track.

Work is scheduled to begin after the 2019-2020 meet, with dates for the 2019-20 winter thoroughbred racing meet at the facility to remain unchanged.

Kentucky currently permits betting on pari-mutuel horse and dog race, as well as charitable games such as the state lottery. However, this could be set to change as Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear last month announced plans to legalize commercial casinos, sports betting and online gaming if elected.

The proposed policy states that tax revenue raised through gambling expansion would be used to help fund the pension system for public servants, which he said would benefit the state’s teachers, police officers, firefighters and social workers.