New historical horseracing machine venue in the works for Churchill Downs

June 20, 2023
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Funding from the planned Daviess County location will support Ellis Park Racing & Gaming race meets.

Churchill Downs Incorporated has plans to build a historical racing machine (HRM) venue on the east side of Daviess County, Kentucky. The venue will lie outside the Owenboro city limits, around two hours from the Louisville Churchill Downs location, the home of the Kentucky Derby.

The entertainment venue will be an annex of Ellis Park Racing & Gaming and feature HRMs, which allow bettors to wager on the outcomes of past races that have had their identifying information obscured by a slot-machine style game. Players can select the order of the horses’ finish or ask the machine to make a random selection.

There are over 5,000 HRMs in the state of Kentucky. Churchill Downs’ planned new location will aid in funding Ellis Park race meets.

Churchill Downs Incorportated’s racetracks and jai alai courts make up a regional gaming portfolio of 13 properties across 11 US states.

In May, Churchill Downs posted $412m handle during the week of the Kentucky Derby, a new record all-time high. Total bets from all sources also overtook the previous year’s record by almost $95m, reaching $188.7m.

June, however, saw Churchill Downs need to suspend all racing operations throughout the remainder of the Spring Meet, due to horse fatalities and track safety concerns. From June 10, the race meeting was relocated to an Ellis Park Racing & Gaming location in Henderson, Kentucky.

Churchill Downs has not yet provided either development or investment plans for the new HRM venue, but will give updates about the property and its exact location in the coming months.


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