Churchill Downs opens new $38m Newport Racing and Gaming in Kentucky

Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN) has opened its $38.4 million Newport Racing & Gaming property in Northern Kentucky. The October 2, 2020 opening an extension of the license of its Turfway Park in Florence.

The new 47,000-square-foot facility is located off Interstate 471 Exit 3 in the Newport Shopping Center and offers 500 historical racing machines (HRMs) from 7BALL CC leading companies such as Australian-based slot manufacturer Ainsworth, as well as International Gaming Technology (IGT), and Scientific Games, alongside an area with self-serve kiosks for simulcast wagering on harness and thoroughbred horse races broadcast live from around the country. Also included is a bar area offering quick eats and drinks.

CDC guidelines:

In compliance with state and local requirements, Newport Racing and Gaming will operate at 50 percent capacity, allowing a total of 1,000 patrons into the venue at a time, and will follow all Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. Also to be implemented is the “Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) 360 Degree Approach to Safety” along with initiatives to allow for social distancing, personal protection and enhanced cleaning.

Chief Executive Officer for Churchill Downs Incorporated, Bill Carstanjen, commented on the recent opening in a company press release…

“We are thrilled that Northern Kentucky will be able to enjoy this premier entertainment experience and that the Kentucky horse racing industry will benefit from the incremental purses generated through Newport Racing & Gaming.

“We are grateful to Governor Beshear and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for their support of our efforts to attract the best horses to our racetracks and their support of the equine industry throughout the Commonwealth.”

Major transformation:

The project began in May 2020, when the existing building’s exterior facade was renovated and the 47,000 square feet of interior space was demolished for transition into a contemporary entertainment center and will reportedly provide 70 full-time positions.

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Also commenting on the new venue, Director of Marketing Gary Pecorello said…

“Over the last few months, we’ve been able to add 75 full-time jobs here. Newport Racing and Gaming is an extension of Turfway Park’s racing license in nearby Florence, Kentucky. “Each of our 500 Historical Racing Machines has Vegas-style games and themes that our guests will be familiar with. We’ve seen an overwhelming support for a facility that has this.”

“The pandemic brings a lot of hurdles, which we were all able to overcome,” Mr. Pecorello said. “One of the biggest things was the plastic dividers in between all of the games, and in addition to that there’s a service button for a guest to have their machine cleaned.”

Newport Racing & Gaming will operate Monday – Thursday from 10am to 2am and Friday from 10am through Sunday at 2am.

Competitive market:

There are several such gambling venues in Kentucky and the Newport facility will compete with those as well as neighboring Ohio and Indiana gambling including Boyd Gaming’s Belterra Park racino in Anderson Township, Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati, Belterra Casino Resort in Florence and Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg in southern Indiana.