With Rivers Casino purchase, future of Arlington Park unclear

With Rivers Casino purchase, future of Arlington Park unclear

Churchill Downs Inc.’s CEO talked about the company’s plan to buy a majority share of Rivers On line on line casino in Des Plaines for $500 million was born from a need to grow to be completely different avenues of taking part in not presently permitted at shut by Arlington Park racecourse in Arlington Heights.

In a conference title Thursday with funding analysts, Bill Carstanjen often called Rivers a premier regional on line on line casino with a “important future upside.”

Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes talked about he first found regarding the tentative acquisition inside the Every day Herald. He talked about his first thought was this was an alternate plan to the company’s long-running lobbying efforts in Springfield to get slot machines on the struggling racecourse.

“I take a look at it as a constructive development for every the racetrack itself and the village if it retains Arlington racetrack up and working in our group,” Hayes talked about.

Nonetheless Carstanjen hedged when requested by JP Morgan analyst Dan Politzer if the pending Rivers On line on line casino deal signifies a shift in how Churchill Downs views its possession of Arlington Park.

Whereas saying “there’s no change to Arlington Park presently,” he went on to component the challenges to horse racing inside the state. He talked about the acquisition will put the company in “a beautiful aggressive place in a on line on line casino gaming market we have always valued as we work with the Illinois legislature and authorities division to seek out out the way in which ahead for our Arlington Park racetrack.”

Churchill Downs has argued for years that its incapacity to get state permission for slots and completely different taking part in decisions at Arlington Park hurts the racecourse’s competitiveness.

“Really, that could be a jurisdiction the place we now have watched our horse-racing enterprise decline over time in Illinois whatever the presence of a totally implausible workforce and really supportive native individuals,” Carstanjen talked about. “Nonetheless the development of Illinois racing has not been advantageous versus completely different states, and, attributable to that, Illinois racing on the entire has suffered.”

The acquisition, if permitted by regulators along with the Illinois Gaming Board, will give the company administration of the premier on line on line casino and racetrack inside the state — each far ahead of its rivals in earnings — merely as voters are about to determine on an Illinois governor and Chicago mayor. And the model new legislature will write the foundations for sports activities actions betting in Illinois that is probably coming inside the wake of a Supreme Court docket docket dedication earlier this yr.

Carstanjen talked about Churchill Downs ought to do what’s in its shareholders’ best pursuits.

“We’ll proceed to guage what’s best for Arlington Park and what’s best for Churchill Downs in the long term,” Carstanjen talked about. “Nonetheless undoubtedly it was important for us to have a long-term presence in Illinois the place we thought we have entry to new merchandise — iGaming, sports activities actions betting, and plenty of others. — which can become accessible over time. And undoubtedly Arlington Park simply is not in these firms.

“Arlington Park would not have slots or desk video video games or any type of clear entry to additional merchandise,” Carstanjen continued. “And it was important for us to make sure that we could proceed to participate inside the Illinois market over time.”

Carstanjen talked about the location and inhabitants dynamics of Rivers On line on line casino are among the many many causes Churchill Downs values it so extraordinarily. The on line on line casino is adjoining to the nation’s second-busiest airport and within the midst of the nation’s third-largest metropolis.

“And we anticipate there are elements that will protect this property if there ever is an development of gaming,” he talked about.

Churchill Downs acquired Arlington Park in 2000 in a handle proprietor Richard Duchossois, who stays chairman of the monitor. Rivers On line on line casino opened in 2011, with billionaire precise property investor Neil Bluhm as lead confederate.

Churchill Downs simply these days opened sports activities actions books in Mississippi on the Riverwalk On line on line casino and Resort in Vicksburg and Harlow’s On line on line casino Resort and Spa in Greenville.

Carstanjen talked about sports activities actions betting know-how being examined inside the smaller Mississippi markets will help the company in greater ventures akin to Rivers.

He added that sports activities actions betting is a captivating enterprise and that the Mississippi ventures have been immediately worthwhile.

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