The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) has joined with Revolutionary Racing, a horseracing facility company, to oversee the groundbreaking of a new race track in Kentucky.
EBCI Holdings, the Tribe’s financial division has invested $25m into the project with the overall investment standing at $55m. The new race track will be built in Ashland, Kentucky and the process of obtaining a license to begin construction was an arduous one for the Tribe.
ECBI Treasury Holdings board member Cory Blankenship commented: “In Kentucky, there were nine race track licenses. You have to be a licensed operator through the Kentucky Racing Commission to own and operate a race track in Kentucky.
"Only eight of the licensees were active. This group went to the state of Kentucky and the Kentucky Racing Gaming Commission and said that we would like to be rewarded that ninth and final license for a racing facility.”
The funding for this project was approved in April of this year when the Tribe approved Resolution No. 245 which turned its investment into a 48% stake in the new business.
ECBI chose Revolutionary as a partner as it wanted the help of a business specializing in the management and operational fields of horseracing. Meanwhile Revolutionary wanted a gaming operator who was licensed to run Class II games, which horseracing falls under.
The two parties want to bring something new to the Kentucky horseracing scene which is famed for its thoroughbred horseracing, making that race type “oversaturated in the commonwealth.”
Instead, they will feature quarter horseracing, which features breeds of horses that excel at sprinting short distances; its name is derived from the speed which these horses reach on tracks measuring a quarter mile or less.
Revolutionary Gaming Chairman commented: “It’s an underserved market. Because we will be the only dedicated quarter horse track in the commonwealth. It’s kind of a niche that nobody’s focused on.”