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US – Churchill Downs opens US$38m Newport Racing and Gaming

By - 5 October 2020

Churchill Downs opened its US$38m Newport Racing and Gaming, its historical racing and gaming facility in Newport on October 2 as an extension of the licence of its Turfway Park in Florence.

The 47,000-square foot facility, located in the Newport Shopping Center, offers 500 historical racing machines (HRMs) and offers simulcast horse racing on live races.
It will be able to operate at 50 per cent capacity, allowing 1,000 people into the venue. It remains illegal in Kentucky to bet on table games or on standard slot machines. The opening comes after the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that historical horse racing machines, operated by Exacta Systems, were unconstitutional. Newport Racing uses technology from Ainsworth.

Gary Pecorello, Marketing Director, 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.”

Chip Bach, General Manager of Turfway Park, said: “We are thrilled that guests 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.”

It is the sixth such venue in the state and will face competition from Belterra Park racino in Anderson Township and the Hard Rock Casino in downtown Cincinnati, as well as the Belterra Casino Resort and Hollywood Casino & Hotel in southern Indiana.

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