Historic Horse Racing Coming to Downtown Louisville

Rendering provided by Churchill Downs

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 venue will also include a fresh-air gaming area. | Rendering provided by Churchill Downs

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 machinesaka 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

Derby City Gaming will be located in the former US Bank building at 4th + Market Streets | Photo by @theloutoday

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.