Churchill Downs Incorporated has expressed the intention to only grow its land-based casino offering in states with a potential online market.
The racecourse and casino operator noted in a Q1 earnings call that it would also favour states that are considering legalised online and sports betting markets
“We now have nine casino properties, five wholly-owned and four equity investments, in eight different states,” said CEO Bill Carstanjen. “This reflects our strategy of investing in modest-sized casino properties with limited capital footprints and amenities and with stable, predictable cash flows in diverse markets.”
“We also like states that we believe may ultimately grant access to online gaming and even potentially to sports betting to their brick and mortar casino license holders should either form of alternative gaming become legal in the relevant jurisdiction.”
CDI has already purchased Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Pennsylvania this February, with Carstanjen highlighting the state’s “recently passed legislation authorising real money online gaming” as a major factor of the acquisition.
The company also owns the Fair Grounds Race Course in Louisiana, whose Senate advanced a sports betting bill in April, and Arlington Park in Illinois, where the Senate passed an online gambling proposal in 2017.
The company’s two properties in Mississippi could welcome sports wagering as early as this year should the Supreme Court approve New Jersey’s drive to overturn the 1992 PASP Act.
The significant potential investment demonstrated by CDI should hopefully go some way in convincing lawmakers to modernise the US legislature’s approach to gambling.