All bets are on for horse racing aficionados and slot machine fans alike.
Churchill Downs Inc. announced plans to open a new gaming venue Downtown. Derby City Gaming Downtown will be located in the former US Bank building across from the convention center — this will be the second Derby City Gaming in Louisville with the first on Poplar Level Rd.
The announcement to transform the 43,000-sqft building into a casino-like gaming venue comes after Churchill said it would be selling its Arlington Park racetrack in Illinois to the Chicago Bears for $197.2 million.
The main attraction at Derby City Gaming Downtown will be the 500 historic horse racing machines that look, play + feel like a slot machine, but aren’t considering casinos are still illegal in Kentucky.
What differentiates historic racing machines — aka instant racing — and allows them to operate legally is that players are betting on actual past horse races. When a bet is made, a past race is randomly generated and a condensed video or reel of the race shows the predetermined outcome.
In addition to historic racing, the venue will also include 3 different bar concepts, a sports bar with live entertainment, a premium bourbon bar + a wine and charcuterie lounge. A Kentucky Derby retail store and 200+ parking spaces will also be onsite.
Derby City Gaming Downtown is on track to open sometime in early 2023 and promises to bring 450 jobs to the area + create $10-$12 million per year in additional purse money for Churchill Downs Racetrack. Now that’s a lot of mint juleps.