Churchill Downs Incorporated, the organization that maintains numerous gaming-related holdings, probably the most famous of which being the Kentucky Derby, is adding two more strategic assets to its list: Presque Isle Downs & Casino and Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg. The total value of these two separate acquisitions is approximately $229.5 million, making Churchill Downs a big player in the games-playing industry.
Presque Isle Downs & Casino operates out of Erie, PA and runs approximately 1,600 slots, 32 table games and a poker room. It began live thoroughbred racing shortly after opening in February 2007 and conducts approximately 100 live thoroughbred race dates each year. The casino has several business partners throughout the Erie area, including a hotel next door, which offers its guests a unique stay and play experience.
This is a particularly exciting opportunity for Presque Isle Downs and Churchill Downs, as Pennsylvania introduced legislation in 2017 making Pennsylvania online casinos and gaming centers legal in the state.
Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, MS operates approximately 620 slots, nine table games and includes an 89-room hotel. Restaurant choices abound within its spacious gaming area and on-site lodgings, but if you crave something more from this historic town, remember it’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Big Muddy as well as an hour’s drive from Jackson, MS.
Churchill Downs Inc. (NASDAQ:CHDN) runs several well-known establishments including Arlington International, Calder Casino, Churchill Downs Racetrack (home of the Kentucky Derby), Fairgrounds Race Course & Slots, Harlows Casino Resort and Spa, Miami Valley Gaming, Oxford Casino, Riverwalk Casino Hotel, Twinspires.com, and United Tote. Its many properties are based mostly in the South and Eastern United States.
Churchill Downs Inc. Chief Executive Officer Bill Carstanjen explained why Presque Isle and Lady Luck Vicksburg are appealing investments for the Company.
“We are excited about welcoming both of these properties to the Churchill family. Presque Isle will give us a foothold in Pennsylvania which has recently passed legislation authorizing real money online gaming. The Lady Luck Vicksburg is immediately adjacent to our Riverwalk facility and offers us operational efficiencies in a stable region. Both properties fit our investment criteria and will be immediately accretive to our shareholders.”
With a large cash surplus from the sale of Big Fish Games, Churchill Downs Inc. is well positioned to grow its new acquisitions. Gaming in Pennsylvania is really taking off right now and legislation is being drafted that will affect the gaming business in that state for years to come. Now that Churchill Downs Inc. has a foothold in Pennsylvania, they have earned themselves a seat at the gaming table. Things are definitely looking up for Churchill Downs Inc.