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Churchill Downs is going to launch instant racing venue, Derby City Gaming, on September 14. Mike Ziegler, the track’s Executive Director of Racing, announced the decision during a meeting of the Kentucky Racing Commission at Lexington’s Red Mile harness track.
He added that there will be a series of soft opening events starting from September 10.
“We’ll invite family and friends and officials to come visit the facility,” Ziegler told members of the commission.
Derby City Gaming has already hired 100 workers and plans to hire 100 more over the next couple of weeks.
“We’ll have 200 people working at Derby City,” he said.
Derby City Gaming has also ramped up its marketing campaign, showing the commission a 30-second commercial that has begun airing on TV stations across the state.
Historical racing, also called “instant” racing, allows gamblers to use devices resembling slot machines to bet on races that have already run. Under current plans, the 85,000-square-foot gaming area will feature 600 historical racing machines, a simulcast wagering area and a player’s club reward center.
But not everyone is celebrating the new venue. Mike Stone, chairman of the Council on Problem Gambling, told the commission the expansion of instant racing will also expand the number of problem gamblers.
“We know statistically from other jurisdictions that when gambling expands, more people participate, and the number of people who have a problem will go up,” Stone said.
Stone hopes that as the state’s gambling revenue increases, it will allocate more funding for counseling.
The Red Mile opened an instant racing parlor in 2015. Ellis Park in Henderson began offering it in 2012.
Derby City Gaming must still jump through several regulatory hoops, but those are not expected to delay the opening.
Source: WDRB Media
Source: European Gaming Industry News